Pizza restaurant to open in former Borden dairy building
By Molly M. Fleming
The Journal Record
OKLAHOMA CITY – Sheli Reynolds-Stenseth never wanted to be in the restaurant business. She and her sister Tami Lake operated a pizza dough company, selling their products at local farmers markets.
The sisters were talking to their friend David Hooten, who mentioned that Jim O’Steen wanted to open a pizza place. But O’Steen didn’t want to operate it. He had bought pizza equipment for the Borden milk building, 2124 N. Broadway Ave. O’Steen purchased the building in 1997.
O’Steen is renovating the space for the Stone Sisters Pizza Bar. Reynolds-Stenseth, Lake, and their oldest sister, Traci Stone, with chef Cally Johnson are bringing organic pizza to the market. The crusts can be made with either sprouted spelt or unbleached organic white flour.
Reynolds-Stenseth said the sprouted spelt is a good choice for people with gluten sensitivities. It’s also healthier than whole wheat, she said.
The pizza toppings are organic and sourced locally if possible. Cheese is from Lovera’s Handcrafted Foods in Krebs.
The menu will also offer salads, soups, beer, kombucha, and organic wine on tap. Leap Coffee Roasters is the coffee provider. Frozen prepared pizzas and lasagnas can be purchased to be baked at home.
The sisters praised Johnson’s contribution to the concept. Johnson was a co-owner of Mutts Amazing Hot Dogs before it was sold. She still co-owns Big Truck Tacos. She not only helped elevate the recipes, but also taught them about what they would need to operate an eatery.
“I don’t know what we were thinking not having her on,” said Reynolds-Stenseth. “She came on and brought everything to a whole new level.”
“We had basic ideas and then Cally came and turned them into masterpieces,” Lake said.
Johnson was working at J. Bruner’s at the Haunted House. It closed in January. She said she tried to take their passion for health and turn it into pizza.
She knows she can’t reinvent the pizza wheel, so this had to be in a market of its own.
“It has the heart of an athlete, but it looks like a pizza,” she said. “We don’t want to be trendy. We want to have longevity.”
The sisters said they hope the tasty pizza inspires people to pursue other healthy choices. Johnson said the sisters’ lifestyles have already motivated her to quit smoking.
“I think they have a great product,” she said. “You cannot discount the heart that it’s made with. It takes a lot to get me excited these days. This is exciting.”
There’s heart not only in the pizza, but in the whole restaurant. One table has pictures of all the angels in the sisters’ lives, including Johnson. The pizza names are filled with family memories, such as Bratty Little Sister, and Front Yard Rumble With Hair Pulling. The name was inspired by a real event when the older sisters were fighting one holiday in their mom’s front yard. There was hair-pulling. There’s even a pizza named for their saintly mother, Sherrie Ives.
But the older sisters claim they grew up with they turned 40 years old. And now, they all laugh about their childhood and how they get along now. They’ve had fun working on the restaurant, with each one contributing ideas.
They’ve recruited other family members to help as well, with Lake’s daughter Brittany Burgess working in the kitchen and Toya Stewart managing the front of the house. Reynolds-Stenseth’s sister-in-law Dana Reynolds is making organic desserts.
The restaurant will open by June.
Johnson said people can expect a different quality than what’s on the market now.
“There can be no margin of error with this pizza,” she said. “This pizza had to explain what’s in their hearts. It had to be thoughtful, mindful, and intentional.”