Friday, November 16, 2012

A Tribute to William Walsh

Today marks the one year anniversary of the passing of William Walsh, our CEO, business partner and, most importantly, our best friend. We miss him every day but his enthusiasm and creative spirit will live on forever in his ingenious GreenBox and other packaging designs. ~ Jen & Ned

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The QR Code – A Cheap, Green, Effective Marketing Tool for Pizza Operators

A QR Code that Links to Ecovention's Website
QR Codes.  You’ve seen them… those odd-looking, square symbols with pixelated, black-and-white designs. They are not a new technology but with the recent proliferation of smartphones and free scanning aps, they are becoming increasingly ubiquitous and an important resource for customers to access information. 

In fact, according to a study completed by comScore in December 2011, 20.1 million mobile phone owners in the U.S. used their device to scan a QR code in the three-month average period ending October 2011.  What’s more, as the use of smartphones and public awareness about QR codes increases their use in day-to-day lives is, not surprisingly, expected to grow exponentially.

For pizza operators looking to amp up their marketing efforts there are opportunities to exploit QR codes. Take pizza boxes.  Any pizza operator that uses a custom pizza box knows that printing plates can be be expensive. What’s more, even minor artwork revisions such as the addition of a new location will result in the need to purchase an entirely new printing plate.  With the addition of QR codes to one’s pizza box, pizza operators need only worry about including “static” information in their artwork.  QR codes can be used to point to information that might change, such as pizzeria locations, menu items, promotions and ingredients.

Pizza operators should also consider incorporating QR codes into printed marketing materials like brochures, menus and placemats, with links to such items as online ordering, phone numbers and coupons. QR codes can also give customers quick and easy access to a pizzeria’s website as well as social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Beyond the ease of response to marketing actions that QR Codes bring, what makes them a marketing dream for Pizza operators?  First and foremost, they are free.  There is a plethora of websites nowadays that produce QR codes for URLs quickly, easily and at no cost (the following sites to name just a few:  Second, QR codes are green.  By keeping only static items on brochures, pizza operators can worry less about the obsolescence of printed information and distribute their printed materials for longer periods of time, thereby reducing both the need for reprints and the amount of wastage (i.e. paper, ink, and solvents) created because of outdated information. 

At Ecovention, we now recommend the use of QR codes to all new customers adopting GreenBox packaging.  Take, Pizza Consegna, for example, one of the Hyatt Regency's pizza concepts.  QR codes, pointing to the pizzeria's website, are printed in multiple locations on the pizzeria’s custom GreenBox Pizza Box.

So, pizza operators, get on board with QR codes.  They are cheap, green, create an opportunity for meaningful communication with customers and, most importantly, bring your marketing campaigns into the 21st century!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Green Spotlight on… Pizza by Certe

Chef Ed of Pizza by Certe on WPIX11 Discussing the GreenBox and Preparing Breakfast Pizza

On E56th St. in New York City, just off of the food wasteland that is Park Avenue sits a hidden little gem that is deserving of attention:  Pizza by Certe, a 3-Star Green Restaurant Certified pizzeria opened by Chef Edward Sylvia almost two years ago to this day.  When we first we met Mr. Sylvia, or Chef Ed as he is more affectionately known, he already had a successful eatery/catering company under his belt in restaurant Certe (located on E55th between 5th & 6th).  But, Chef Ed had a dream – the genesis of which was the time he spent as a teen on a farm in Southern Illinois.  That dream was to open a sustainable pizzeria that used locally sourced ingredients.

To that end, Chef Ed created Pizza by Certe, the first LEED Gold pizza parlor, with recycled walls, millwork from wheat, and recycled bottle countertops.  Chef Ed uses utensils and paper goods that are biodegradable, drinking cups and containers made from resin derived entirely from plants and (most notably!) our 100% recycled, multifunctional GreenBox pizza box.  And Chef Ed even goes a step further by composting all food waste, making all deliveries by foot or hybrid truck and using rainwater for non-consumption purposes.

And then there’s the food…  Non-bromated flour. That’s step one:  Chef Ed sticks with the non-bromated stuff given that potassium bromate has been banned in Europe, Canada, and Japan and flagged in California as a suspected carcinogen.  No cans. That’s step two:  Chef Ed’s sauce is made purely from fresh tomatoes.  Fresh cheese. That’s step three:  Chef Ed uses fresh whole milk mozzarella from local cheese makers, fresh hand-dipped Ricotta, and American grana that he grates fresh for every order.  Fresh toppings.  That's step four (and les pieces de resistance):  Chef Ed uses toppings sourced locally where possible, as evidenced by the fresh basil he uses from the “green” wall in his restaurant.

A small tasting of Chef Ed’s many unique specialty pizza options will make anyone a believer in using fresh, local ingredients:  The “Shrooms,” covered with roasted wild mushrooms, porcini bechamel and thyme, is absolute heaven.  The “Buffalo Artichoke,” with buffalo roasted artichoke, farmers blue cheese and celery hearts, is outrageously good.  The “Farmer’s Slice,” with long island potato, sharp amish cheddar, shaved corn and scallions, is pure brilliance.  The “Italian Wedding,” topped with juicy, light meatballs; spinach, grana cheese, fresh mozzarella and hot pepper, is just plain divine.  Chef Ed’s breakfast pizza, which he prepares in our WPIX11 video clip (paying homage to the GreenBox in the process!) is one of our personal faves, but then again, so are all of them.  We could go on, but you get the picture.

So next time you find yourself in Midtown East and (therefore) in culinary despair, drop into Pizza by Certe.  And say hello to Chef Ed from the folks at GreenBoxNY!

Monday, April 2, 2012

The GreenBox is Taking the Media by Storm!

Telepizza, a chain operating in Central America, has launched a commercial featuring our one-of-a-kind redesign of the traditional pizza box.

The 56-second ad describes our product perfectly, and we couldn't be prouder! The message? Now that Telepizza is utilizing GreenBox technology, the best choice has been made for the environment and our beautiful planet as a whole.  Made from recycled materials, Telepizza's new box is perfect for sharing a delicious pizza with your friends (that is, if you don't want it all to yourself!) as it can be broken down into 4 plates and a storage unit for your leftovers.

There's nothing better than chowing down on your favorite pizza and helping the environment while you're at it. Take a minute and check out Telepizza's commercial here, and let us know what you think! MMM, delicioso!

Monday, March 19, 2012

International Pizza Expo Debriefing!

Don’t worry…we didn’t forget about you! So much has happened over the last few weeks that we’ve been running around like crazy (in a good way!). If you didn’t have a chance to read our last update, Las Vegas’ annual International Pizza Expo was rapidly approaching, and we were getting psyched to show off the GreenBox at the largest pizza show in the world.

This past Friday, Jen and Ned got back from the 3-day event full of smiles. The excitement surrounding the GreenBox and Roma Food’s private label version of the box, the Roma Serve & Store, was overwhelming. Wanna hear the best part? The folks from Yahoo! heard about our ground-breaking pizza box, and came over to our booth for more info. They loved it so much that they decided to film a demonstration of our product for an upcoming online show. So, keep checking our blog for a link to the GreenBox feature!

While Ecovention has been attending the international Pizza Expo for three years in a row, this time around was a bit different. We must admit… things weren’t the same without Will’s never-ending enthusiasm and unmatchable charm. Will, you are infinitely missed, but we know that we made you proud. The GreenBox is changing lives because of you!

Thank you, everyone, for following our blog and staying updated on all the amazing things happening at Ecovention.  Stay tuned…it’s only the beginning!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Countdown to the International Pizza Expo!

We’re counting down! Here at Ecovention, everyone’s getting excited about the upcoming International Pizza Expo.  With three whole days in sunny Las Vegas among some of the industry’s best, who wouldn’t be?  This year, the show kicks off on March 13 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and for 3 days, we will be eating, breathing, and sleeping… you guessed it… pizza. 

Like last year, we will be demonstrating Roma Food's private-labeled "Roma Serve N Store" pizza box (which, like our brilliant GreenBox, turns into plates and a storage container for leftovers).  We'll also be showing off our brand new SliceBox product, an awesome new design that's sturdy, functional and, best of all, green. You can find us at the Roma/Performance Foodservice booth (#1035 to be exact); be sure stop by and say hello - we'd love your company!  And, hey, enjoy some pizza, compliments of Roma, and a GreenBox demo while you're at it!  Not planning to make the trip? You snooze you lose!  Just kidding. Just keep your eyes on our Twitter feed for live updates from the show! 

If you have absolutely no idea what we’re even talking about, that’s okay. We’re here to help. The International Pizza Expo is the largest pizza show in the world… basically, it’s THE place to be if you’re in the pizza industry.  It’s an incredible opportunity for pizzeria owners, inventors (like us!), distributors, and others to network and bounce ideas off one another.  The expo isn’t just for chit-chatting, though.  There will be a ton of demonstrations, games, interesting speakers, and a bunch of competitions. It’s like field day, but for big kids (who love pizza).

Now that we’ve gotten you pumped up about the event, we hope to see your smiling faces checking out our GreenBox products at the Roma booth. You can’t miss us…we’re the ones with the pizza industry’s Next Big Thing. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Green Spotlight On Pickleman's Gourmet Cafe

If you’ve ever spent time at college, or even crashed for a weekend in a friend’s dorm, you’ll know that pizza and college students go together like, well, pizza and college students.  The Pickleman's Gourmet Café chain of stores knows this well and caters to this fact, with locations at St. Louis University's Grand Center campus and in such other college-towns as Columbia, MO; Springfield, MO; and Lincoln, NE.

Founder Doug Stritzel also knows that, like him, the college set cares about creating a more eco-friendly world.  Here’s what Stritzel has to say on the matter:  “as a father, business owner, and leader in our community it is my responsibility to try to be a little more earth friendly, not for me, but for our children and our children’s children…just a little here and there adds up over time.”  Well said, Doug!  To that end, Stritzel made sure to introduce our 100% recycled, multifunctional GreenBox pizza box (pictured above) into his stores alongside his 100% biodegradable corn-based cutlery, cups, lids and salad containers and reusable soup bowls. 

Stritzel first opened Pickleman’s doors in October 2005 in Columbia, MO and today the chain has ten locations and counting across Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahama.  He opened his first cafe as an upscale sandwich shop catering to students through late delivery hours, free wi-fi and televisions tuned to sports. In 2007, Stritzel took his student-friendly concept one step further by adding pizza to his menu.  Now, we know what you’re thinking, a sandwich shop that offers pizza, can't have good pizza.  But you’d be dead wrong in the case of Pickleman's pizza.  Pizzas with chicken are the emphasis – and with the Asiago Chicken, Chicken Giardiniera, BBQ Chicken and Buffalo Chicken pizzas, you can’t go wrong. The Hog (for those that enjoy a little pepperoni and sausage) and The Veggie (the vegetarian option) top off the store’s menu nicely – just check out the reviews… and stop by Pickleman’s Gourmet Café next time you’re in the midwest!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

'GreenBox Technology' Launched at Telepizza Restaurants Throughout El Salvador and Guatemala

In collaboration with manufacturing partner SigmaQ, Ecovention is pleased to announce the launch of Telepizza’s innovative multifunctional 'GreenBox Technology' Pizza Box. Telepizza, operated by Pollo Campero (the largest fast food chain in the Central America), is the first to bring 'GreenBox Technology' to Guatemala and El Salvador.

Using Ecovention's patented technology, Telepizza's box breaks down into four plates and a smaller container for leftovers, eliminating the need for disposable plates and ancillary storage materials like aluminum foil and plastic wrap. The 'GreenBox Technology' product brings Telepizza’s pizza to a new level of convenience and environmental sustainability for its customers.

“We are thrilled to bring Ecovention’s revolutionary technology to Central America,” said Henry Yarhi, CEO of SigmaQ. “The ‘GreenBox Technology’ product exemplifies SigmaQ’s humanitarian and global vision of sustainable packaging solutions.”

“Our company is excited to be furthering our relationship with SigmaQ and expanding our product’s reach into another part of the world,” said Jennifer Wright, Vice President of Ecovention, LLC.

Telepizza, a pizza chain that has been in operation since 1987, has over 1025 locations worldwide. The first Telepizza was located in Madrid, and has since spread throughout Spain, Portugal, Chile, and Central America. Recently, Telepizza has arrived in United Arab Emirates and Colombia.

SigmaQ, headquartered in San Salvador, El Salvador, consists of 12 production plants dedicated to industrial and luxury packaging. The company also has 7 business and sales offices in Mexico, the Caribbean and South America. The current CEO, Henry Yarhi, leads SigmaQ with a humanitarian and global vision.