In The Kitchen With Tina Dickson of Ingleside Village Pizza
With Tina Dickson of Ingleside Village Pizza
Macon Pizza History with Tina Dickson of Ingleside Village Pizza. Ingleside Village Pizza is known as one of the staples of the Macon foodie community. Walking into IVP is the equivalent to walking into a mini Macon museum. From the vintage artifacts to the disco ball, Ingleside Village Pizza displays all its rich history throughout the restaurant.
This July, the restaurant will be celebrating 25 years in business. Tina Dickson, the owner of Ingleside Village Pizza, has been in the restaurant business for over 35 years. Being a Macon Native, Tina saw a need for an independent pizza restaurant and decided to take on the challenge of opening her own business. Twenty-Five years later, her risk has definitely paid off. The award-winning restaurant is well known by pizza lovers near and far.
Tina graduated from Georgia State and fell into the pool that many people know so well, an educated graduate with no experience. The only place that would hire the recent graduate was a well-known national pizza franchise. She worked hard and was promoted several times in the as the company continued to grow until she decided to take a leap of faith and open her own restaurant. Thus, the conception of Ingleside Village Pizza came into being.
Starting with just 10 pounds of dough and a little patience, Tina worked on Ingleside’s first pizza recipe. The goal was simple; make fresh, hand-tossed and delicious pizza. And that’s exactly what Tina did and still does to this day.
Speaking with Tina is like talking to a family friend, it’s conversational and engaging. You feel like you’ve known her for years, even if you’ve just met her. She is very open and passionate about what she does. She knows customers by first name and her employees are more like a family than a staff. She casually points to one of her employees who has been with her for over 20 years.
“You have to treat your employees right. They are the foundation to your business, “ Tina says as she looks into her kitchen while the staff preps for the lunch rush. She goes on to talk about how every day presents a new obstacle to overcome and how maintaining a consistent level of service is the key to success.
Owning and operating a restaurant is something many people try, but few succeed. It is a hard job filled with working nights, weekends and holidays. Making sure customers are satisfied, employees are happy, bills are paid and making a profit are all parts of the job. Somehow Tina has found a way to succeed in a business that burns out most in just a few years. Not only has Tina thrived, but she has done so with many fond memories along the way.
As Tina offers me lunch, she points to a table with two older ladies. She speaks about how they come in about once a quarter with a couple of friends and stay the whole day and enjoy each other’s company. She also tells me about how she’s seen babies grow up and go off to college. As she casually wipes off a table and heads to the kitchen before we take pictures, I notice her keen eye for details. She knows where everything goes. The restaurant is like her second home. It’s easy to tell that she loves what she does. It is also evident that the restaurant business can be taxing, but just as rewarding.
Tina leads me to her new mural that faces the side of the business. I catch her admiring the work of art with pride. She turns around in her gray sweatshirt and flashes a bright smile. It’s almost as if the mural is a symbol of her 25 years in business. Bright, bold and fresh are the words that come to mind. There is no question that the pizza is what gets the customers to Ingleside Village Pizza, but it is the atmosphere and the staff that keeps people coming back.
Thank you Tina for letting Gateway Macon into your kitchen!