Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, April 28, 2023

‘Who doesn’t love gas station pizza?’

Jenny Patel hands off a couple of Hunt Brothers pizzas to a customer at the BP convenience store on Maple Street in Lebanon, one of 9,000-plus outlets for the Nashville-based pizza brand. - Photo by Michelle Morrow | Hamilton County Herald

The Two Way Stop in a rural section of Nolensville is a nondescript convenience store, except for the bold Hunt Brothers Pizza sign at the right of the entrance. It’s a popular stop for day workers grabbing a breakfast biscuit in the mornings or a hamburger at lunch. But the pizza is the consistent big seller.

“We sell more than you’d think,” says the clerk at checkout. “People like the convenience.”

But how does the pizza taste? That’s the real reason customers return over and over. It’s a good pizza. When you order a Hunk, the company’s signature “grab-and-go” product, you’ll get about a fourth of a pie for less than $4 (whole pies cost about $11). The crust is appropriately thin toward the center and pleasantly chewy around the edges.

There’s just enough sauce on the bottom to provide a clean tomato taste and an abundant amount of mozzarella on top. The bacon pizza served in the morning hours (but available any time) has good, smoky bacon in prominent chunks throughout the slice.

It easily competes with both Domino’s and Pizza Hut in quality, if not outdoing both of those chains since customers can walk out of a store with either a whole pizza or just a slice freshly made.

Several other factors make the Hunt Brothers concept appealing. First, aside from the Hunk, you can order a whole pie that will be hot and ready in about 15 minutes. The topping choices are abundant, and there’s no extra charge for whatever you desire, unless it’s extra cheese or meat. There’s a nominal charge for those.

You choose your crust, either original or thin. Then you choose your toppings, everything from sausage, beef, bacon or pepperoni to mushrooms, jalapeños, black olives, onions, and bell and banana peppers. Spice your pizza up with crushed red pepper flakes. Add on Hunt Brothers wings available at some locations and make it a combo.

An advantage of ordering your pizza fresh from Hunt Brothers is that you can watch it being made (plus those unlimited toppings). And with the time you might wait for a delivery pie from the other chains, you’ll walk out with your freshly-made pie in a relatively short amount of time. An added benefit to the convenience store is that you’ll probably shop around for a few other things while you’re there.

And if you’re looking for a little inspirational reading, you’ll find it right on the box. The side proclaims, “Easiest meal ever. Built by a real family with real values.”

And on the bottom, you’ll find the Hunt Brothers Guiding Values: “Place God first in all we do, be a blessing to people, trust God to meet our needs, strive for excellence.”

Is it gourmet pizza you’d find in an artisan restaurant? No. Is it a well-made pizza using quality ingredients? Yes.

As long-haul driver Jason Beckelhymer of Mt. Juliet and Hunt’s fan says, “You’re talking to a truck driver. I mean, who doesn’t love gas station pizza?”