Pizza shop owner finds a way to stay in business while making pies, face shields

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CHICAGO — For 12 years, people have been lining up outside of Dimo’s Pizza on Damen Avenue for a slice.

But once COVID-19 hit, their sales plummeted 70%.

That’s when owner Dimitri Syrkin-Nikolau knew he had to find a way to stay and business and keep his employees during a pandemic.

In the process, he also found a way to keep everyone safe.

“How do we keep our people employed? How can we save people and then I realized these pizza ovens could play a role,” said Syrkin-Nikolau. “I was like, we’ve done it! Let’s make this happen!”

And that’s when Dimo’s started baking up more than pizza: Acrylic face shields.

“We put the acrylic in the oven about 30-45 seconds depending on the oven and then pull it out,” he said. “Put it on top of a mold, then put the second part of the mold on.”

Now, they’re the only place in town delivering freshly baked pizzas and face shields.

“We put together a plan to make 5,000 a week and I thought that would save our entire front of house staff,” said Syrkin-Nikolau.

At $5 each, Dimo’s staff is working around the clock.

“If you go on Amazon right now, it’s like buy 10 for $300. It’s crazy what people are charging.”

For Syrkin-Nikolau, the reasonable price is just part of his effort to keep his staff working and his customers safe.

“If your community’s not safe, who’s going to be around to eat our pizza?”

For more information on Dimo’s Pizza click here.

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