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Terry McGuire is a self-taught pizzaiolo on the East End, crafting hand-made pizzas then freezing them to be cooked and eaten at home. (Photo courtesy of Terry McGuire)

While pizza’s are available for purchase online, McGuire is shifting to craft his crusty creations to be sold at some our favorite East End markets and shops. (Photo courtesy of Terry McGuire)

For East Hampton native Terry McGuire, his love of pizza has evolved from a hobbyist’s pursuit to an exponentially growing, one-man show profession. It’s become one of the greatest kept secrets of the East End when it comes to must-have-in-your-freezer, locally made items — until maybe, now.

A self-taught oven builder and pizzaiolo, McGuire originally learned to craft frozen pizzas as a way to keep busy during the winter months, starting out in 2016 by cooking them outdoors using a retired military trailer he converted into a mobile wood-fired oven. Over time, he got good at it.

“I sold about 400 pizzas over the whole winter right before Covid,” he says, noting the conditions at times were “frustrating, to say the least.”

Pizzas are available for sale via his website, where there’s a six-pie minimum, starting at $17 a pie. Offering hand-delivery to both north and south forks once a week, he’s started gaining some serious traction by selling them at winter farmers’ markets across both north and south forks. Eventually, he moved his production to a kitchen inside Stony Brook University’s Southampton campus.

“When Covid hit I quickly pivoted,” he says, rebranding his company as Terry Pizza. “In April of 2020 I sold about 1,400 pizzas directly to consumers. I gained around 3000 clients.”

His latest effort is to shift toward providing pizza for his ever-growing list of businesses across the East End, rather than for individual consumers.

Over the past three years, McGuire has built out a kitchen to produce his pizzas at scale, taking over the space that formerly housed Backyard Brine in Cutchogue. “99.9% of my clients and businesses are on the South Fork,” he says, “I just couldn’t ever find a space there. I got pushed out. I’m just psyched I ended up here and not up island.”

McGuire uses locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. (Photo courtesy of Terry McGuire)

Presently on the North Fork, his pizzas are served hot at Macari Vineyard’s tasting room while on the South Fork they’re available for purchase (frozen) at Serene Green in Sag Harbor and Balsam Farms in Amagansett. In the spring, his pizzas will be featured at Share the Harvest Farms in East Hampton along with Hen of the Woods, when they re-open their Hampton Road location in Southampton. His next project will be a collaboration with Sagaponack Farm Distillery, where he will sell his pizza pies hot to tasting room goers.

“I really like his pizzas — he’s super knowledgeable about flour and stretching as well as types of wood to use,” says chef and fellow East Hampton resident Kait Kelly. “I think the fact that he wood-fires each pie gives it such a leg up on any other frozen pizza.”

Another perk, according to Kelly, is how McGuire uses as much local product as possible for his crusty creations (like flour from Balsam, pesto from Sang Lee Farms in Peconic, and purple cauliflower from Bayview Market & Farms in Riverhead).

“The crust is super thin and actually gets crunchy when you reheat it,” she says. “I’m a huge fan, to be honest. Especially in a dismal pizza void, like the East End.”