Gluten free and do you like pizza? This Michigan restaurant serves 1,400 pies a week

GENESEE TWP., MI Keith Corlew has wanted to own a pizzeria since he was about five years old.

His love for pizza was so strong that he remembers his grandmother Dorothy Fortier predicting it as his career path.

And her grandmother was absolutely right.

No matter what kind, I’ll eat just about any kind of pizza, Corlew said. That’s how I love it.

Corlew has owned and operated Bobs Original Pizza with his wife Christie and several employees who have been bringing homemade dough recipes and sauces to the Flint area for nearly 18 years.

Keith Corlew purchased Bobs Original Pizza on May 22, 2006, but the Kearsley community staple has been around since 1963.

The community has really embraced us, said Keith Corlew. We always try to make the best product, and that depends on our wholesalers that we work with down to the individual pepper or onion to ensure the best quality at the best price for us and our customers.

With that, we put together a cake that they were very proud of. We try to keep our prices reasonable for our customers that we serve, which is a lot of kids and families here.

So what’s popular at Bobs Original Pizza?

You could throw a dart at the menu and land on a winning food choice every time.

Keith Corlew said two of his many styles of canes have become best sellers. The first is a twisted stick of bread with garlic butter and parmesan.

Those addicts very quickly, he said.

The second popular choice is jalapeño bread, which is served on a classic pizza base. It has homemade dough topped with garlic cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, jalapeños, butter, garlic and parmesan, served with salsa on the side.

They are very popular. I like it with bacon, said employee Rachael Hart, who has worked at Bobs for the past six years. This is what I always push and encourage customers to try. It’s the perfect appetizer for a party, March Madness, Super Bowl and other sports gatherings.

Corlew said each pizza is handmade from scratch with a handmade dough and sauce recipe and premium ingredients.

He said the restaurant sells many specialty pizzas, including its best sellers: the BLT pizza, made with extra bacon, mozzarella cheese, mayo, lettuce and tomato, as well as the ultimate supreme pizza, which is made with pepperoni, ground beef beef , sausage, mushrooms, onion, green pepper, ham and bacon.

Texture is everything when you’re talking about pizza, he said.

Our texture is perfect and our sauce is Italian style. It’s not super sweet and it’s not super spicy. It’s a good mix, Corlew said. Our salads are better than anyone else we know, and so it’s also one of our biggest points of pride. … People will drive a long way for our salads, sandwiches and pizza.

If you want to try something that’s the perfect change from pizza, try our Stromboli. It’s like a folded pizza, but without the sauce, he said. You use it to dive. If you want the ingredients, but want it a little different, try Stromboli. It is more crispy and delicious.

Corlew said the restaurant serves an average of 1,400 pies a week of various sizes to customers throughout the community.

Able to order at any time, but mostly a hit for his catering business, Corlew said the pasta dishes are top-notch, including full pan options of mostaccioli, chicken alfredo and lasagna.

But just because it’s not on the menu, Corlew has full faith in his wife to create new and exciting options based on one-on-one conversations with groups that hire Bobs Original Pizza as a catering option.

Corlew said he even created a wedding breakfast menu that includes chicken and waffles.

“We do a lot of community work with Kearsley schools in their sports, dances and other activities, as well as catering for open houses and proms and churches, weddings and funerals,” said Keith Corlew.

One of the restaurants’ proudest points is their availability of gluten-free options for customers.

One of the Corlews’ daughters has celiac disease and, within her dietary restrictions and needs, is gluten-free. Therefore, they wanted to make sure that she and anyone with gluten-free needs were satisfied in their food preparation.

Christie Corlew said the restaurant offers a gluten-free pizza crust, a gluten-free flatbread, two types of cauliflower crust and dairy-free cheese.

We make sure that we don’t do any cross contamination both in preparation and while cooking. We have a deck oven, so there is no air like a conventional or transport oven, he said. We know the importance of offering it. Many people cannot digest gluten, and this could make them sick. It is so important to us that there is no cross contamination.

The gluten-free crust is more like an English muffin-style texture, she said, while the flatbread is a little softer.

The thick cauliflower crust is pretty fluffy like an angel pie. The thin cauliflower crust gets nice and crispy in the oven, she said.

And, to clarify, Bobs Original Pizza also makes original crust pizza, for all those interested in the traditional option.

The Corlews moved the physical location of the business on May 22, 2023 to its current location at 5534 Richfield Road in Genesee Township.

Bobs Original Pizza hours are 2:00 PM to 9:00 PM Monday through Thursday, 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM Friday and Saturday, and noon to 8:00 PM on Sundays.

Bobs is a staple in this community. We have a lot of customers who eat here because every bite brings nostalgia, as most of them have been eating it since they were kids, Hart said. We maintain a close relationship with our clients as we talk to them about their lives and their families. They were here by first name and knew their birthdays. They are more family to us than customers.

Read more from The Flint Journal:

Local Food: Flint’s Golden Gate Restaurant offers Philly Steak bagels

Local Food: Middle Eastern Cuisine Kabob Offers Delicious Bites at the UM-Flint Pavilion

Local food: Nikos Family Diner recovers after fire damages restaurant

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