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“Everything has changed for us:” How a Dave Portnoy pizza review catapulted this Columbus pizzeria into the spotlight

“Everything has changed for us:” How a Dave Portnoy pizza review catapulted this Columbus pizzeria into the spotlight

Jack McLaughlin

After weeks of waiting, it’s official.

Sexton’s Pizza received an 8.1 rating from Dave Portnoy’s highly-viewed “One Bite Pizza Reviews” Youtube series. This means the local pizzeria is tied for the mark of highest review score in Ohio (which it now shares with Toledo’s Stubborn Brother). 

And while it has been a validating experience for Sexton’s, according to co-owner Joey Sexton, it’s also brought on a whole new set of challenges for the local pizzeria.


“Everything has changed for us since the One Bite review,” he said with a laugh.

The largest issue Sexton’s is currently facing is demand, and the massive influx Portnoy’s score generated. Due the nature of how their pizzas are created, simply making more isn’t always in the cards for them.

“We’ve already been that kind of business; we don’t have conveyor belt ovens or freezers. Everything is handmade,” Sexton said. “A lot of people think we can just make more dough, but that’s just not how it works. When you’re artisanal, when you grow your dough for two days and have to babysit it at times, there’s a lot more to consider.”

In the several weeks since Portnoy actually stopped by, Sexton’s has had to switch to serving whole pizzas only (no slices) at its Gahanna location, and has switched to only online orders with just pizzas at its Hilliard store. Now that the review has actually gone live (it was uploaded to the review channel yesterday), Sexton expects even more demand to follow. Additionally, the new Victorian Village spot Sexton’s is planning, once envisioned to be a New York-inspired slice shop, will likely end up serving just 16-inch pizzas, but that isn’t set in stone just yet.

“All things considered, it’s a good problem to have,” Sexton said. “Especially since we like to char our pizzas a bit, this review was huge for. It’s validation to see that all of the choices we’ve made and the work we put in is paying off.”

Want to read more? Check out our print publication, (614) Magazine. Learn where you can find a free copy of our new April issue here!


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