It’s been a busy Fall here in the Jungle (Shenzhen). With the rest of the world economies crumbling as a result of too much debt and their populations getting bigger because of too many carbohydrates, business and baking is booming here in China. The government continues to support an economy that is growing at somewhere between 8 and 12% and the people can’t get enough Ferrari’s, Mercedes, BMW’s, LV and Gucci bags, not to mention apartments and commercial office space. You really have to be here on a daily basis to see it, understand it and then appreciate it as the consumption is unlike anything most of us have ever seen in our lives, or will ever see again.
That being said, while we have been busy helping our clients enter and exit the manufacturing business in China, we seem to be advising an increasing number of clients on entering this market to sell their products to distribution or even at retail. As I have been telling anyone who would listen for the last 10 years, we are in the midst of the greatest (largest) economic boom that the world might ever see, purely because of the number of people here and their desire for the things that the rest of the world has. China will soon surpass the United States as the largest economy in the world.
One of my friends and clients, although he rarely requires my counsel, is one that is taking advantage of the Chinese quest for things that the rest of the world has, like Pizza. Thomson Ly is the founder of NYPD Pizza in Shenzhen, China and Hong Kong. We met many years ago when he opened his first delivery pizza place in a back alley here in the Jungle. I was shocked to see a picture of his pizza in the English language newspaper, Shenzhen Daily, and a story about his new venture. So, I called the pizza shop and he answered the phone and I asked him if his pizza was really as good as the picture made it look. He suggested I come over and try one and find out for myself. So, after an hour trying to find the back alley where he was located next to the tire repair shop I walked in on a diminutive Chinese American in jeans and a baseball cap. I checked again and thought, “this can’t be the place” “a Chinese can’t make a pizza as good as the one in the picture”.
Lo and behold not only can this ABC (American Born Chinese) who speaks fluent Mandarin, Cantonese, English and several other languages make a fantastic pizza, but after several years, multiple awards and a growing customer base of carbohydrated Chinese and foreigners he recently won an award in Hong Kong for the best pizza. He even beat out a place called Paisano’s which makes a pretty darn good pie.
Best Pizza in Hong Kong 2011 – NYPD
As the four of you who read my blog know, I like to write about my entrepreneurial friends and clients who are willing to take big risks and go all in here in the Jungle. Lot’s of people said that the Chinese wouldn’t like pizza or even order delivery pizza. Tell that to Thompson at NYPD and the next time you are in the Jungle, try ordering The Caruso http://www.nypdpizza.com.cn/ it’s my favorite.
The following post was written by Frank Caruso. Frank is the head of the China Practice Group at my Firm. Yes, the pizza is good. Not as good, of course, a Pepe's in New Haven, Connecticut, but still great pie and the best I have had in Asia. The owner is also one of the nicest guys you will meet in the world.