Like Abe Froman, the mythical sausage king of Chicago from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and the namesake of one of Pinky G’s Pizzeria’s most beloved pies, Tom Fay is the king — the king of Jackson’s pizza scene.
Tom, who also happens to be from Chicago, moved to Jackson at age 13 so his parents could open a bed and breakfast. The Wyoming transplant was always fascinated with the hospitality industry — after studying the ski industry at Colorado Mountain College Steamboat Springs, he moved to Charleston, South Carolina for culinary school.
“When I came back, I realized from living in Charleston and Steamboat how many pizzerias there were. In Jackson, we only had Domino’s, Pizza Hut, and Mountain High Pizza Pie [now closed]. There was no real hangout for anyone in their mid-20s to grab a slice, a beer, and hang out to fill your late-night cravings,” says Tom.
The solution: Pinky G’s, which opened its doors in 2011. The New York-style pizzeria is found in downtown Jackson and has a cozy ambiance. “I have this warm and fuzzy place in my heart for lamps,” says Tom. “So, I try to put lamps in the corners to make it fun and different. Makes you feel at home.” People love Pinky G’s specialty pies — like The Abe Froman or the Funky Chicken — but Tom says the big hit is the crust. “Everyone raves about our crust and how crispy it can be on the outside and chewy on the inside.”
It’s a crust that took Tom around two years and countless tries to perfect. In the end, he settled on a 72-hour cold proof that allows the yeast in the dough to cultivate slowly. The team at Pinky G’s hand tosses every pie and cooks their creations in a deck oven. “I think it’s important to stick to your guns and do it right.”
All the hard work was well worth it — Pinky G’s has gotten rave reviews in USA Today and has been featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” multiple times. And in January 2020, they opened a second location in Big Sky, Montana.
“The idea is to grow a little more,” says Tom, who also dreams of opening a shop in Bend, Oregon and a second location in the Jackson Hole valley.
Until then, Tom can look back on the past 10 years with pride — from his well-earned post as the pizza king of Jackson.