"That really means a lot to him. Two floors above this dairy deluge, in a dark-wood-paneled office with white marble floors, Corinthian columns and gold accents, sits James Leprino, the Willy Wonka of cheese. We offer Real cheese. Team Leprino next brings out dessert: salted-caramel-flavored mozzarella wrapped in hot dough, rolled in cinnamon sugar. If anyone knows,what kind/brand of cheese do the chains use,such as PJ's,Dominos and Pizza hut? Leprino Foods' ribbon cheese, which is made at its Greeley, Colorado plant. Camera shy: If you Google James Leprino’s picture, you’ll get fellow billionaire John Malone. Another year went by, and Domino's began delivering pizza, in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Leprino hopes that will be an edge in the $6.6 billion-and-growing U.S. protein market. Our Hand-Tossed Style dough wrapped around Pepperoni and pizza cheese, and then generously seasoned with garlic and parmesan. There is plenty of history to remind Ascent's team of their roots. AN AVALANCHE OF CHEESE pours into the test kitchen at the Denver headquarters of Leprino Foods, the mozzarella supplier to Pizza Hut, Domino's and Papa John's. Pizza Hut franchises would sometimes wait too long to thaw the presliced mozzarella and reported that their cheese would crumble, so Leprino Foods responded with its first major breakthrough: a preservative mist. James and her colleagues analyzed the properties of seven different types of cheeses -- … With a patent in place, Leprino made himself indispensable. For example, in the 1990s, Kielsmeier realized that just as the cheese changed when ingredients were sprayed on at the end, certain additives used early in the process could affect how cheese melts — from how big and how brown the bubbles get to how many are on the top of the pie. And for now he'll continue to ensure that Leprino cheese is on as many American pizzas as possible — as well as Asian and European ones (Leprino has a joint venture with the U.K.'s Glanbia Cheese). "Would we want more? Cheesy Stuffed Garlic Knots are finally back on Pizza Hut's menu, and they're part of the chain's iconic $5 Lineup.. 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A year later, Mike and Marian Ilitch opened the first Little Caesars, outside Detroit. This story appears in the June 13, 2017 issue of Forbes. "I would tell people,'Lester is the man that made me rich,'" Leprino says. While Leprino still produces whey protein as a by-product of making cheese for its clients, Ascent is filtered straight from raw milk to protect key proteins and vitamins that help aid muscle recovery. While Leprino got rich, Kielsmeier — who came to work every day right until his death at 95 in 2012 — would have to content himself with being very well paid. Just as his timing ahead of America's pizza boom proved lucky, so did his location in the center of the country. Information received in Email from Pizza Hut regarding Cheese & Enzymes: “Response Via Email (Lloni C.) 07/11/2012 01:26 PM Enzymes used in the production of pizza cheese is a microbial fermentation … Leaf Group Ltd. Fast food companies are adding more sustainable options to their … You Must Request Contactless And/Or Curbside Pickup. Indeed he does, to a nearly unprecedented degree, given the way he dominates his industry. As the diamonds of his watch bezel shimmer on his wrist, Leprino takes out his beat-up black leather wallet, removes the rubber band holding it shut and reveals a card featuring the four company watchwords: quality, service, price, ethics. In a pizza that needs little explanation, the newest Pizza Hut mash-up combines two of the most beloved foods of all-time – grilled cheese and pizza. And that scale also led to cost-saving breakthroughs that Leprino's fragmented competitors could neither catch up with technologically nor fight in patent court. He lets others worry about fresh mozzarella balls and pizza that taste like they were made in the old country. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse Visit today! On the manufacturing side, Kielsmeier cut down the cheese's aging period from 14 days to just four hours, which multiplied the company's production capabilities while cutting costs significantly. Pizza Hut uses skim milk Mozzarella cheese for both the pizza topping and the cheese in the stuffed crust. The storage warehouse at Leprino Foods newest plant in Greeley, Colorado. A blend of Muenster and Mozzarella. Ricotta cheese is typically blended with mozzarella, fontina, gruyere, or gorgonzola cheese to make a creamy base. From Pizza Hut and Domino's to Little Caesars and Papa John's, the vast majority of pizzas in America feature mozzarella from one company. Its Italian sausage is all natural and sourced from U.S. farmers, and its meatballs are free of any artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Yes, the company owns three private planes — a Gulfstream G450, a Bombardier jet and a small 1980 commuter plane — and his house in Denver's affluent Indian Hills suburb has 11 bedrooms, to go with an 8,000-square-foot vacation home in Scottsdale, Arizona. Leprino has invested $600 million in a factory in Greeley, Colorado, that specializes in "ribbon cheese" — bulky 2.5-pound blocks that are popular among frozen-pizza companies. Leprino Foods' production rose sixteenfold, to 2 million pounds of cheese a week. Yet Leprino executives continue to press. Leprino's scale begat better prices, which begat more scale. any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the A report by the magazine "The Milkwood" in 2006 suggested that Leprino Foods' mozzarella cheese uses polydimethylsiloxane, a silicone industrial chemical. However, Leprino Foods states that no such chemical is used in the processing of its mozzarella cheese and that Leprino Foods fully complies with FDA regulations. Another course features frozen food made with Leprino products, including ham-and-cheddar Hot Pockets, Stouffer's lasagna and Smart Ones baked ziti. Real cheese only at Little Caesars. Part-skim mozzarella usually does not have any cholesterol but does have approximately 210 milligrams of sodium. Leprino was able to grow with them all by putting them in silos, granting each company its own specs and then troubleshooting as necessary. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. It's easy to mock his product (Frankencheese, anyone? "My job is to hold them responsible for doing what they said they're going to do. ", He wasn't always so hands-off. When Papa John's insisted it wanted cheese without fillers —eschewing a new Leprino product that contained some — the big cheese didn't take it well. After two years in business, Leprino Foods was delivering 200 pounds of block mozzarella a week to local Italian restaurants. This... [+] 1978 company portrait is the only known image of Leprino Foods’ founder (right). Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM There isn't a single image of Leprino on his company's website. Yuck. On the cheese side, Leprino hustled to satisfy Pizza Hut, which went public in 1972 with around 1,000 stores and, at its peak in the 1990s, accounted for 90% of Leprino's sales. The company announced Tuesday that its “Original Pan Pizza” is being completely remade, including a new cheese blend, sauce … The chain states that it uses part-skim mozzarella cheese on the majority of its pizzas. And by 1991, Leprino had become the exclusive supplier for Papa John's, which launched in 1985. Leprino is also rolling out the company's first direct-to-consumer product, a whey protein powder called Ascent, which will have a dedicated wing at the Greeley facility. He quickly realized he was dumping half his raw ingredients into the river in the form of whey, the calcium-rich liquid left over after curds are strained. First, thin wisps of low-moisture mozzarella, then a diced alternative, followed by an "artisanal" version, cut short and wide. "I thought, This is a good market to go after, so I did." Pizza Hut also does not use any fillers in any of its meat toppings. In North America, Pizza Hut has notably sold: pan pizza, baked in a pan with a crispy edge; stuffed crust pizza, with the outermost edge wrapped around a cylinder of mozzarella cheese; "hand-tossed", more … American consumption of cheese increased by nearly 30% in 10 years because the dairy industry is spending big bucks to promote pizza … The Big Italy. Percent Daily Values (%DV) … You Must Ask/Click For Certain Offers. Mike Leprino Sr. makes fresh mozzarella balls in the original Leprino Foods store. I gravitate towards the intersection of food and mass manufacturing. 2021 Frozen pizzas, introduced after soldiers returned home from WWII craving slices, were also gaining popularity. Send tips to csorvino@forbes.com. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing. For example, the Wisconsin 6 Cheese pizza comes with mozzarella, feta, provolone, cheddar, Parmesan, and Asiago baked to perfection on a -Parmesan or Asiago crust. Use cold cheese to prevent cheese from over cooking and possibly burning. The scientists there soon realized that this method allowed them to add flavors such as salted caramel and jalapeño. "It didn't perform well for our pizza, which is cooked in a home oven," Graham says. "Your employees have got to know you're not a phony," he says. Then come the cheese cubes marketed as snack pairings: pear flavor with nuts or Gorgonzola with pretzels. After graduating high school in 1956, he started working with his father full-time and shared a revelation: "Pizzerias in this part of the country were buying 5,000 pounds of cheese a week," he recalls. Leprino realized he needed to learn the science behind making cheese on a mass scale. "It's hard for me to believe I agreed to this," the 79-year-old billionaire says. Within two months, Leprino switched Papa John's back to the previous blend. But very few will go into detail, and fewer still will attach their name to their comments. For the first time, pizza-makers could simply layer a few slices onto each pie. Subscribe. And the immigrant's son has no intention to retire, ever. Because the outer crust is … "I remember the first day that we had this set up," says Mike Arnold, who is overseeing Ascent's launch. I love pizza! used as a substitute for professional medical advice, He speaks with former president Wes Allen (left). diagnosis or treatment. More than three decades later, in 1950, he finally opened a grocery store to sell the produce he grew. No starches or fillers. Mike Leprino Sr. stands in the original Leprino family shop selling Italian specialties. One creation, Bacio ("kiss" in Italian), is catering to artisanal-pizza-makers by offering mozzarella with a kiss of buffalo milk. , Top the pizzas with pizza sauce, desired toppings, and grated mozzarella cheese. LEPRINO'S MOST IMPORTANT innovation, ultimately, was marrying science and sales — a combination that met the needs of the four biggest U.S. pizza chains during a period when they were growing exponentially, launching one of the greatest turf wars in the history of American food. He speaks with former president Wes Allen (left). advertisements are served by third party advertising companies. I dont care for their pizzas much,but I always curious to know what they used,what brand or … After an hour, the plastic shot glasses appear for sampling the company's lactose and whey powders, which end up in protein bars, Yoplait yogurt, Pillsbury Toaster Strudel and baby formula consumed by millions of infants annually. Additional Charge For Extra Cheese, Stuffed Crust, Pan, And Extra Toppings May Apply. Most chains of Pizza Hut use the brand Leprino Foods for their mozzarella cheese. "It was more of a handshake than it was anything else," recalls Michael Soignet, a former vice president of supply chain at Domino's. "When Lester came, I went downtown to the junkyard and I bought a couple bigger cheese vats to make it look like we were really in the business," Leprino says. Like other pizza restaurants, Pizza Hut primarily uses mozzarella cheese on its pizzas. Graf left Pizza Hut, which was still growing, for Domino's and brought Leprino's business with him, as that chain surged from 200 outlets in 1978 to 5,000 in 1989. "But it's actually dictated by a combination of composition and mechanical properties of the cheese itself." "The Milkwood" looked at a patent from 1988 in which Leprino Foods stated its ingredients and process of making pizza cheese. skim milk, water, soybean or canola oil, parmesan and romano cheeses (part skim cow's milk, cultures, enzymes, salt, cellulose), modified corn starch, contains 2% or less of: salt, dried cream … Accustomed to high altitude, he settled in Denver; without much of an education or the ability to read and write English, he began farming. Copyright Policy "They didn't believe that was what should go on top of their grandmother's pizza recipe," says Ed Zimmerman, a 30-year pizza-industry veteran. Essentially, there is little difference between Pizza Hut's mozzarella and regular mozzarella. As Jerry Graf, a former cheese buyer for Pizza Hut, notes, "Jim was always one step ahead of the game.". If smaller pizza and less doughy crust is more of your style, then this lighter … ". Mozzarella cheese is available in part-skim, fat-free or whole milk varieties. Ricotta is the typical base cheese used for white sauce pizzas. After hearing that shredding 5-pound cheese blocks in the franchises was time-consuming and inconsistent, Leprino Foods started selling frozen, presliced blocks. Each "~" indicates a missing or incomplete value. ), but Leprino Foods is one of the few dairy giants that have never had a recall. I cover all things food and drink as a staff writer at Forbes, from billionaires and ag tech startups to CPG entrepreneurs and wine. And I know I’m not the only one that loves it, either. Pizza cheese encompasses several varieties and types of cheeses and dairy products that are designed and manufactured for use specifically on pizza.These include processed and modified cheese such as mozzarella-like processed cheeses and mozzarella variants.The term can also refer to any type of cheese suitable for use on pizza. © 2021 Forbes Media LLC. I head up the 30 Under 30 Food and Drink list, as well as Forbes' 25 Most Innovative Ag Tech Startups list. It's also created an in-house "innovation studio," designed to ride the coattails of food trends. I also cover beauty and personal care. Pizza Hut states that its pizzas contain part-skim mozzarella cheese, also called pizza cheese. At maarslet-pizza.dk you can find everything you want to know about What Kind Of Mushrooms Does Pizza Hut Use. Pizza Hut's recent decision to put a plant-based cheese option on their menu is the latest example of this fast growing trend. and "I support what's going on, but I don't try to lead it," he adds. "We treat every customer like our only customer," says Mike Durkin, a former Pepsi executive who came on six years ago to run day-to-day operations as president of Leprino Foods. It’s one of my top favorite foods next to kale and cake. The timing couldn't have been better. "The company was growing so fast they were missing this important message.". One pizza entrepreneur puts it this way about the man who owns 100% of this mozzarella giant: "Jim Leprino is a very powerful man.". Footnotes for Pizza Hut condiment: Blue Cheese Dressing. "They've got to believe in you. A quarter cup serving of shredded part-skim mozzarella has 90 calories and 6 grams of total fat. DELIVERY & CARRYOUT LOCATIONS ARE OPEN! That means that three percent of the total cheese in production in the world is bought by Pizza Hut. When I said I didn't like it, he took it personally." Leprino has somehow eluded photographers for decades: A Google search picks up photos of fellow Colorado billionaire Philip Anschutz and cosmetics heir Ronald Lauder. Ireland Wolfe has been writing professionally since 2009, contributing to Toonari Post, Africana Online and Winzer Insurance. it even has the old works bar where you can order all you can eat and get pizza, desert and salad from buffets. She is also a licensed mental health counselor, registered nutritionist and yoga teacher. Don’t use too much cheese. That same year, the first Pizza Hut opened, in Wichita, Kansas. Quality is listed first intentionally. Leprino Foods is the world's largest mozzarella company with sales of more than $3 billion annually. View our full menu, nutritional information, store locations, and more. When Pizza Hut began using a hotter conveyor oven, Leprino Foods changed the formula so the cheese wouldn't burn at higher temperatures. The Grilled Cheese Stuffed Crust Pizza features extra … Mike Leprino Sr. stands in front of the original truck he used to deliver fresh mozzarella to local... [+] Denver customers. Pizza Hut uses a lot of cheese. Thin and Crispy Crust. "Because of the moisture content, you could see the sauce under the cheese. Pizza Hut, the originator of the stuffed crust pizza, has just unveiled a Grilled Cheese Stuffed Crust Pizza. And while Little Caesars uses other vendors--industry insiders say Leprino isn't exclusive with Little Caesars, in part because the chain's blend uses Muenster cheese, too — Leprino president Mike Durkin predicts that Little Caesars will eventually succumb. … So find info and order pizza online! This silicone ingredient is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in food. In 1958, after larger chain grocery stores had forced the Leprino market to close, the Leprino Foods cheese empire started with $615. Related: Pizza Hut - Pizza Review from Winston, Georgia. In fact pizza lunchables are healthy because they use real tomatoes in the sauce, who grain pizza crust and Kraft mozzarella cheese wich is a very healthy lunch for kids. Dominating the market has its advantages: He's able to invest in technology that no run-of-the-mill dairy farmer ever could, resulting in more than 50 patents —and an estimated 7% net margin, which dwarfs the dairy-industry average. the pizza hut in my town is still a sit down, dine in establishment. It's Leprino Foods' most expensive cheese — and its fastest-growing. Meanwhile, James, the youngest of five children, noticed his classmates spending free time at neighborhood pizza joints. I cover all things food and drink as a staff writer at Forbes, from billionaires and ag tech startups to CPG entrepreneurs and wine. Some of its specialty pizzas … But he's more likely to pick up a hammer than call a repairman: Leprino, who has been known to operate a forklift at the factory, has also personally bulldozed trees around his Colorado home. As delivery-focused Domino's expanded, Leprino's head cheese maker, Lester Kielsmeier, manipulated the product so that it retained its fresh-out-of-the-oven look and taste longer. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in psychology and Master of Arts in mental health counseling. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. The little-known Leprino (he declined to be photographed for this article) rates as one of America's all-time monopolists. "I've got everybody keeping one in their pocket," Leprino says. "Jim came at me and said,'It's going to cost you three more cents a pound.' None of that spray on flavoring. You may opt-out by, The Business of What We Eat and How It's Made. "My success is a fairy tale," he says. 1978 company portrait is the only known image of Leprino Foods’ founder (right). My reporting has brought me to In-N-Out Burger's secret test kitchen, had me trekking through drought-ridden farms in California's Central Valley and even sent me to a chocolate factory designed like a castle in Northern France. Cheeses to avoid on pizza: processed cheese or oily cheeses such as Velveeta, American cheese and Cheddar or pre-shredded cheese. The Spinach & Feta pizza comes with mozzarella, feta, Parmesan, and Asiago. LEPRINO'S OFFICE BEARS testaments to his roots, including a black-and-white photo of his mother on her wedding day at age 16 and a bronze relief of James and his father rolling fresh mozzarella balls. That same year, the business of what we eat and How it 's two all-American favorites in...! Because of the original Leprino family shop selling Italian specialties loading dock and.... 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