ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The staff members at an Albuquerque pizzeria and board game library took it upon themselves to go beyond supplying pizza to customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pizzeria has found a way to keep business running while also supporting the community. Since October of last year, Slice and Dice Board Game Pizzeria has had a pizza of the month, where they partner with a community member or business and create a new pizza for that month. Ten percent of the proceeds from the pizza of the month purchases go to a local nonprofit of the person or business’ choice.
Each person or business that the pizzeria collaborates with gets to design their unique pizza and choose which nonprofit organization to donate to. The idea to collaborate with the community for the pizza of the month came from some of the difficulties their own employees dealt with during the COVID-19 pandemic. Early on, co-owner Vic Briseno said some of the employees had trouble finding eggs and milk at stores. “Because of our distributor, we were still able to get some so we started doing community giveaways where we gave out free eggs and milk for about two months,” Briseno said.
Once stores were restocked, they shifted their attention to getting more involved in helping the community. “The pizza of the month was kind of something that we can help a different organization every month and also have fun doing it,” Briseno said.
They’ve teamed up with former New Mexico United player Cody Mizell, Rio Rancho Police Chief Steele, the Albuquerque Sign Language Academy, Cibola High School and many more. They’ve donated to organizations like the Roadrunner Food Bank, CASA New Mexico Kids Matter, El Ranchito de los Ninos and other organizations. For the month of April, the pizzeria teamed up with Siarza Social Digital to benefit the Domestic Violence Resource Center of New Mexico.
Slice and Dice Board Game Pizzeria has been operating for about three years on Albuquerque’s west side. Co-owners Vic Briseno and Mercedes Donio bonded over a love of pizza, beer and board games. They both had impressive libraries of board games that go beyond the typical Monopoly or Candyland and that’s how they got the pizzeria’s library started. “Board games are kind of going through this renaissance period right now. We’ve always loved board games but people are more interested in getting involved right now which is exciting to see,” Briseno said.
Over the pandemic, the Slice and Dice employees have focused much of their attention on social media in order to connect with the community. They also use it as a tool to find other interested collaborators and worthy causes. Moving forward, the owners said they plan to keep the pizza of the month a permanent program. “As long as we can find people to team up with, we want to continue doing it every month in the future,” Briseno said. “We’re always looking for other pizza of the month members, so if anyone is interested, we’d love to connect with them.”