Every story has a beginning. For the owners of Righteous Slice in Rexburg, their journey started years ago. Bill Crawford is a business professor at BYU-Idaho. He started his career in the U.S. Air Force, flying F-16’s and stealth bombers. After a while, he decided he didn’t want to retire in the Air Force and chose to attend Harvard Business School to learn how to run a business.
His wife, Cheryl Crawford, said he learned from Harvard that running your own business is not a good idea. Bill decided to work for a company selling cancer diagnostic equipment instead. This job took him around the world, and eventually to the place where he fell in love with Italian pizza.
“He ended up in Strasbourg, France of all places at this little pizza place that was run by a native Italian,” Cheryl said. “He told me it was the most amazing pizza he had ever had in his life. He was so excited about it he wanted to try and make his own pizza like that at home.”
Bill wanted to remember anything he could about the pizza and saw some of the flour bags on display. He asked his colleague to take a photo of him in front of the flour so he could buy some when he got back to America. The owner of the Italian restaurant saw Bill taking a picture of the flour. The owner asked Bill if he wanted to learn how to make real Italian pizza in the back kitchen. This experience has shaped the style of pizza that Righteous Slice now serves.
A few years later, back in the U.S., Bill began working as a business professor at BYU-Idaho. Their family moved to Rexburg and brought a small pizza oven in a trailer behind them. Cheryl said they started with pizza nights with friends in their backyard, and eventually started selling pizza at the Rexburg Farmer’s market.
“Once we… proved that people were willing to stand in line for up to an hour to get the pizza, we said… ‘You know, I think this could work that we open this as a concept,’” Cheryl said.
Righteous Slice opened its doors for the first time in 2018. They are located in Hemming Village next to Five Guys. Righteous Slice sells classic and new pizzas the way Bill learned to make them from the Italian pizza owner in Italy.
More information about Righteous Slice, and to see their menu, is available online at righteousslice.com.