For today’s Q&A with a local business owner navigating the COVID-19 public health emergency, we talk to Jose Guttierez of New Canaan Pizza & Taqueria.
After purchasing the East Avenue mainstay three years ago, Guttierez oversaw an extensive interior renovation and then reopened in 2018 with the addition of authentic Mexican cuisine to New Canaan Pizza’s classic Greek-style pizza menu.
The restaurant is open 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. every day, offering pickup and delivery.
Here’s our interview.
New Canaanite: How are you doing?
Jose Gutierrez: We are surviving in this pandemic situation. There are good signs of surviving.
What has the response been like from the community?
They are being very, very generous to us. They try to give us as much business as they can without putting themselves at risk. We take our own precautions, too, for the public and customers. People ask us how we are doing and if we are surviving. They have been very concerned about us going through this.
What do they want the most? What are your most popular menu items?
Tostadas, the burritos, the vegetarian pizzas. Pepperoni. And now we have the homemade chicken nuggets.
We don’t know how long the restrictions will be in place. That said, what is your sense at this point of whether New Canaan Pizza & Taqueria will be able to outlast the crisis?
The landlord [Brock Saxe], his response has been very positive in getting us through the situation. He has done all he can to keep us going.
What is your message for customers?
The message for customers is to place an order some time and be patient. The situation for preparing food takes longer because we have to take all the precautions that are required to keep everybody safe from any contamination, ourselves too and our employees.