What’s That Weird Mesh Thing In The Pizza Delivery Boxes?

Every once in a while, we are asked about the weird mesh thing that we put under the pizzas in our delivery boxes.

Photo by ‏@Great_Local

Photo by ‏@Great_Local

As strange as they may seem, a lot of science went into the mesh liners, and ultimately they help ensure that our delivery pizzas arrive tasting as delicious as possible.

Many pizzerias just place the pizza directly onto the corrugated cardboard. The reality is that the average pizza sits for 15-30 minutes in a cardboard box (which sits inside a thermal delivery bag). You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to realize that a hot pizza in this environment will produce a significant amount of steam and condensation, resulting in a pizza that has lost much of the crispness that OTTO fans enjoy.

The mesh liner raises the pizza off of the cardboard, which allows air to circulate freely around (and under) the pizza. Pizza sitting directly on cardboard tends to allow grease to seep into the crust, and the crust will often absorb some of that cardboard taste. Ew, right?

This modern scientific wonder also happens to be heat resistant and cut resistant, and made from an FDA-approved material.

While food quality is most important to OTTO, we also care about the environment and sustainability. OTTO’s mesh liner is not just re-usable — it’s also recyclable.

At OTTO, we’re always looking into new ways to approach age-old challenges. We welcome suggestions and feedback from our guests on ways we might improve their experience.

Fuelling Slugger’s Walk From Fenway to Hadlock

We at OTTO are thrilled to be Slugger the Sea Dog‘s Official Carb-Loading Sponsor for his walk from Fenway Park to the Portland Sea DogsHadlock Field to benefit the The National Tourette Syndrome Association and Camp Twitch and Shout, a camp for children and teens with Tourette Syndrome.

sluggerWe will be teaming up with Slugger on several fronts, including a special pizza (to be available at all locations between Fenway & Hadlock) to benefit the cause, and events in Boston and Portland! (We hear Slugger’s pal Wally the Green Monster will make an appearance!)

Via the Portland Press Herald:

In celebration of the popular baseball mascot’s first appearance at Hadlock Field 20 years ago this spring, the Portland Sea Dogs on Tuesday afternoon announced a walking journey for Slugger and [Justin LeBlanc,] “his original trainer” from Fenway to Hadlock in early May to raise awareness of and funds for children with Tourette’s syndrome.

LeBlanc’s fundraising goal is $20,000. He said the money will be split between two youth acceptance programs, a weeklong overnight camp in Georgia for kids with Tourette’s called Camp Twitch and Shout, and a youth ambassador program in which the National Tourette Syndrome Association trains teens ages 13-17 to teach understanding, sensitivity and tolerance.

LeBlanc, now a lawyer in Portland, “animated” Slugger for the first three years of the franchise’s two-decade existence in Portland. He left after the 1996 season to attend law school in Georgia but has returned to Hadlock many times since to fill in. His youngest son, Theo, 11, has Tourette’s, a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive involuntary movements or vocalizations called tics.

For more information, see the Portland Sea Dogs’ info page.

Donations can be directed to the official Fenway to Hadlock ActiveGiving page.

OTTO’s Fundraiser Series: Updated Schedule for Portland, Boston & Lynnfield

Several great reasons to eat an entire pizza without feeling guilty.

PrintOTTO is pleased to be hosting an ongoing series of fundraiser nights to benefit regional charities and community organizations. At each event, a portion of sales will be donated to the dedicated organization.

The series began in February of 2013, and runs in both Maine and Massachusetts. The Maine fundraisers take place at our 574 Congress Street location, our 225 Congress Street location and the Massachusetts fundraisers take place at our BU location and our MarketStreet Lynnfield location. The events are from 5pm – 9pm unless otherwise noted.

In addition to raising funds, OTTO owners and staff hope the events will help raise awareness, encourage dialogue, and provide a venue for networking, brainstorming, and speaking with potential volunteers.

OTTO encourages charities, schools, and organizations to reach out to discuss opportunities. Those interested should send an email to contactus@ottoportland.com.

As of this writing the schedule is as follows (all dates are subject to change):

OTTO 159 Cottage Rd. South Portland
March 18 – Mahoney Middle School

OTTO 225 Congress St. Portland (Munjoy Hill)
April 8 – Susan Curtis Foundation
April 15 – Boys & Girls Club of Southern Maine
April 22 – Maine Ultimate
April 29 – Port Resources
May 6 – YMCA of Southern Maine (to benefit Adaptive Services and Cancer Survivor programs)
May 13 – Levey Day School
May 20 – Music de Filia
May 27 – Silent Sidekicks
June 3 – Coastal Studies for Girls
June 10 – Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership – Maine
June 17 – Deering High School Freshman Class
July 1 – Maine Cancer Foundation
July 15 – Maine Narrow Gauge
July 22 – Maine Roller Derby

OTTO 888 Comm Ave, Boston (across from BU)
April 14 – 85 Broads: BU Chapter
April 21 – BU Global Water Brigades
April 28 – Helping Hands for the Homeless
May 5 – Fenway to Hadlock: Slugger Walks For Tourette’s Syndrome (Special appearance by Wally the Green Monster!)
May 19 – Cambridge Community Chorus
June 9 – Family Equality Council

OTTO 1210 Market Street, Lynnfield
April 14 – Melrose Humane Society
April 28 – EMARC
May 5 – Destination ImagiNation at Lynnfield High School
June 9 – Friends of Lynnfield Library

Please consider supporting these organizations by stopping by OTTO during their events. A percentage of each purchase will go directly to the organization. It’s a great opportunity to eat an entire pizza without the guilt!

Draw Outside of the Box: The Winners!

On September 18 of 2013, we began receiving the first entries in our ‘Draw Outside of the Box‘ contest, in which young designers from K-8 could compete for the opportunity to have their design grace thousands of OTTO pizza boxes throughout Maine and Massachusetts.

378 entries, thousands of votes, 32 finalists, and 5 judges later, we have our winners.

As we have stated before, everyone at OTTO was completely blown away by the talent on display in each of the wonderful entries (so many worthy designs that didn’t garner enough public votes to make it to the second phase of the contest). As Facebook commenter Julia Goldman so eloquently stated, “Life is short, art is long. Pizza boxes come and go. The influence of your art does not go away. Keep drawing. Keep playing. Keep giving your great humor and design sense and creativity to the world!” We couldn’t have said it any better. We look forward to seeing each young artist nourish their talent and creativity, and share their art with their communities, and with the world.

That being said, our esteemed panel of judges did have the difficult task of choosing their three favorite designs of the finalists.

The winners are as follows:

FIRST PLACE
Ella Trout
8th Grade
Home-schooled
Portland, ME
Ella Trout-Breakwater school
The judges hailed Ella’s entry as “whimsical” and “fantastic,” a “fully realized” design exhibiting a “great sense of Maine.”

OTTO’s designers are currently working on preparing Ella’s design for print. A version of her winning design will soon be printed on thousands of pizza boxes and distributed to all OTTO locations throughout New England. She will also receive a pizza party, a $50 OTTO gift card, an OTTO t-shirt, and an OTTO cap.

As outlined in our fine print, if a first prize winner is not enrolled in a school (i.e. home-schooled, etc.), or enters on behalf of an OTTO-approved non-school entity, “the $1000 intended for the winner’s school will be donated to an approved charity or organization with an art component. Charity or organization must be agreed upon by OTTO and the winner.” Ella has decided to direct the donation to a wonderful Maine-based organization, Spindleworks. Spindleworks, based in Brunswick, ME, is a non profit art center for adults with disabilities and a program of the Independence Association of Brunswick Maine, whose mission is to help children and adults with disabilities achieve full and inclusive lives in their chosen community.

SECOND PLACE
Reuben Pitchel
5th Grade
Dallin Elementary School
Arlington, MA
1512590_714565551888711_1553361106_n
Reuben’s design appealed to the kid in several of our judges. This “fun,” “bold,” “playful” design is “just so ‘out there.’” States one judge, “Ruben is a Surrealist at heart.”

Reuben wins a pizza party (for up to 30 students) at his school, a $25 OTTO gift card, an OTTO t-shirt and hat.
 
 
THIRD PLACE
Laney Towle
6th Grade
Berwick Academy
South Berwick, ME
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The judges found Laney’s design to be “whimsical,” “clever,” “iconic” and “highly original,” one that differentiated itself with its “limited use of color and focus on typography.”

Laney wins a pizza party (for up to 30 students) at her school, a $15 OTTO gift card, and an OTTO t-shirt and hat.

Congratulations to all of our finalists, and to Ella, Reuben, and Laney. We can’t express how much we loved each and every one of the wonderful designs that were submitted.

Stay tuned, as we will be displaying some of the designs at various OTTO locations over the coming weeks and months.

OTTO’s ‘Draw Outside of the Box’ Contest, Stage 2: Meet the Judges

At 9am on Wednesday, December 18th, the voting phase of the Draw Outside of the Box contest will come to a close.  Three months and 350+ entries into the contest, the 30 entries with the most Likes in our Facebook ‘Draw Outside of the Box’ album will move on to phase two, in which a panel of esteemed creative professionals will review each entry and choose the three best designs.

Our panel of judges certainly have their work cut out for them over the next few days.  Their task will be to single out the very best pizza box design from 30 entries — entries which have been competing for public votes (‘Likes’) for the past 3 months.  This single design will then be prepared for printing, will go to press, and will become the face of OTTO’s pizza boxes throughout 7 locations (plus delivery and catering services) in MA and ME.  The winning designer will also earn $1000 for his or her school for art education purposes.  First through third place will also win pizza and OTTO swag.

It’s a tough job, but we believe our panel is up for the task. (We’d like to mention that these fine and talented folks have volunteered their services for this very special occasion.)

Ladies and gentlemen, the ‘Draw Outside of the Box’ panel of judges:

Scott Nash
ScottNashPicAs a founding partner of BIG BLUE DOT, Corey McPherson Nash and NASHBOX, Scott has developed an expertise in the branding and creative development of products and programming for the entertainment, consumer product and publishing worlds. In addition to designing identities for Nickelodeon, PBS, ABC, Comedy Central, and FX, Scott’s design clients include American Girl, Disney, Harvard University, Mattel, Milton Bradley, and The Boston Pops.
Scott’s work as a designer and illustrator has been recognized by The Academy for The Arts and Sciences (EMMY award), PROMAX, Broadcast Designers Association, American Institute of Graphic Arts, and Society of Illustrators.
Scott has illustrated over forty children’s books, including Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp! and The Bugliest Bug by Carol Diggory Shields, Betsy, Who Cried Wolf! and Betsy, Red Hoodie by Gail Carson Levine, as well as the Flat Stanley series by Jeff Brown.
Scott has lectured widely and taught at Boston University, Northeastern University, and The Art Institute of Boston. He currently teaches at Maine College of Art, where he helped establish the illustration department.

Martin Sorger
MSorger_web2Over 25 years, Martin has launched, branded, and rebranded companies as both the client and a creative consultant. During that time, he’s won some awards working as an art director and brand consultant for entertainment, sports, technology, and consumer brands including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Comedy Central, Disney, Finagle a Bagel, Harvard Medical School, Reebok, Walden Media, MIT, MLB, NEC, NFL, and WWE. (And OTTO!)

Debbie Kovacs
IMG_3926aDebbie serves as Senior Vice President of Publishing of Walden Media, where she has overseen all editorial publishing activities and was instrumental in the 2005 formation of Walden’s publishing joint venture with Penguin Young Readers’ Group. She worked at Turnstone Publishing Group, Scholastic Inc., where she founded that company’s software publishing group, and Children’s Television Workshop (now Sesame Workshop), where she served as editor of Sesame Street Magazine. She is author of more than 30 children’s books, including Katie Copley, When is Saturday?, Brewster’s Courage, and The Tooth Fairy Book. Her work has been published by Viking, Simon & Schuster, Scholastic and others.

James Spindler
5080-James_5X7BW-150x150James has specialized in brand identity since 1990, giving unique voice and vision to worldwide brands across multiple platforms. His work has been featured in The New York Times, I.D., and Paper, and has been recognized by British Design and Art Direction, the Cannes Film and Poster Festival, the New York Art Directors Club, the Clio and Andy Awards, and the Broadcast Design Awards. James has served as a design director for Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, Deutsch Advertising, VH1 Music Television, and MTV Asia. He has been a featured guest lecturer at the Yale Graduate School of Design, the School of Visual Arts, and Parsons: The New School for Design. James’ projects have included multimedia initiatives for NASA, the ONE campaign, and the artist Maya Lin. He has been on the juries of numerous design competitions, including those of the AIGA and the New York Art Directors Club.

Clif Stoltze
clifClif is Founder of Stoltze Design, where he also serves as Creative Director. He has taught at Rhode Island School of Design and Massachusetts College of art, and frequently lectures at schools and design organizations all over the US. Clif has served as AIGA Boston vice president, and was the recipient of their 2005 Fellow Award. A lover of music and album art, Clif’s book 1000 Music Graphics was published by Rockport in May of 2008 and he is also curator of POSTGIG, a traveling exhibit of contemporary music posters. His work is also in the permanent collection of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.

OTTO Ventures Into The North Shore With MarketStreet Lynnfield Opening

Until now, each new OTTO opening has required re-inventing or renovating an existing structure — from the former hole-in-the-wall that became OTTO’s first slice shop on Portland’s Congress Street to the former Friendly’s in Brookline’s Coolidge Corner.

20131115_114742 copyOTTO’s latest location marks the first time that OTTO has been the first tenant. While many of the other tenants are familiar neighbors of OTTO’s in Boston (Legal, Davio’s, Boloco, King’s, etc.), the venue is something new for OTTO.

MarketStreet Lynnfield, located just 15 minutes north of Boston, is a new, open-air shopping center with a town-center feel. MarketStreet currently houses approximately 70 restaurants and shops, with more opening every day.

Those familiar with OTTO will find themselves at home in the new location. The decor employs many of the familiar OTTO touches: subway tile, re-purposed wood, and the signature OTTO marquee — a beacon familiar to Portland’s Arts District, as well as the three Boston area locations.

1426161_690643534280913_371998047_nOTTO Lynnfield serves the same delicious pies that have earned accolades in Portland and Boston (and nationwide). Diners can order by the slice, or order whole pies (takeout or dine-in).

One new addition that may appear down the road at other OTTO locations: Puck’s Soda fountain service. Natural, and hand-compounded, Puck’s is hard to beat, and pairs well with OTTO’s pizza.

OTTO is thrilled to be part of the North Shore community, and looks forward to seeing new faces (and familiar ones too).

OTTO Lynnfield * 1210 Market St * Lynnfield MA * 781-872-6991

OTTO Fundraisers: Updated Schedule For Boston & Portland

Several great reasons to eat an entire pizza without feeling guilty.

PrintOTTO is pleased to be hosting an ongoing series of fundraiser nights to benefit regional charities and community organizations. At each event, a portion of sales will be donated to the dedicated organization.

The series began in February of 2013, and runs in both Maine and Massachusetts, with Maine fundraisers taking place at OTTO’s 574 Congress Street expansion, and the Massachusetts fundraisers taking place at OTTO’s BU location at 888 Commonwealth Avenue. The events are from 5pm – 9pm unless otherwise noted.

So far this year, the fundraisers have raised thousands of dollars for area organizations.

In addition to raising funds, OTTO owners and staff hope the events will help raise awareness, encourage dialogue, and provide a venue for networking, brainstorming, and speaking with potential volunteers.

OTTO encourages charities, schools, and organizations to reach out to discuss opportunities. Those interested should send an email to contactus@ottoportland.com.

As of this writing the schedule is as follows (all dates are subject to change):

OTTO 574 Congress St. Portland (Arts District)
157935_94675630059_96677949_n
December 3 – Cumberland Community Nursery School
December 10 – Maine Women’s Fund
December 17 – Casco Bay High School: Project Graduation
January 7 – Lyric Music Theater
January 14 – Environmental Health Strategy Center
January 21 – Portland Trails
January 28 – Portland Youth Dance
February 4 – Portland Veterans Acupuncture Clinic
February 11 – Art Play Nursery School
February 18 – Maine Books For Maine Kids
February 25 – Portland Education Foundation
March 11 – Deering High School Senate
March 18 – Mahoney Middle School

OTTO 888 Comm Ave, Boston (across from BU)
BdayWishes
December 9 – Project Mailbox
December 16 – Birthday Wishes
January 27 – Alzheimer Association’s Run TriRide
March 3 – BU Undergraduate Public Health Association

Please consider supporting these organizations by stopping by OTTO during their events. A percentage of each purchase will go directly to the organization. It’s a great opportunity to eat an entire pizza without the guilt!

Interested in being part of OTTO’s ongoing fundraiser series? Write to us at contactus @ ottoportland.com.