Written by Ralph Grassi
The oven shown above was nicknamed "The Monster" and lasted only a short time before being replaced.

Originally, the Mack's baked their pies in a conventional range, but later used industrial ovens such as Bakers Pride and Blodgett. In 1966 a new innovation in pizza cooking was introduced to the industry called the Roto-Flex Oven. This bakery oven features four rotating decks allowing more than 20 pies to be cooked at the same time and in 1971 Mack's decided to give them a try. This new process of baking pizza took some time to get used to, but with a little tweaking and the proper adjustments they got the ovens working perfectly. ( To sit at the counter and not only watch your pie being made, but to actually watch it rotate and cook through the glass oven doors has always been a real treat.) Eventually they purchased a total of eight ovens for the Seaside, Ocean City and Wildwood stores.

Duke and Charlotte Mack are pictured above demonstrating the new Roto-Flex oven at the Roberts Avenue store.
Joe Mack is pictured above with some of the Mack gang.
The Mack family has always had a unique style of making pizza and people took notice. Customers and other restaurant owners would watch with great curiosity as the cheese would be applied first ( ! ) followed by the sauce. This was a rather unorthodox way of doing things in the pizza making trade.
Another unique innovation that Mack's created was the "Pump". ( Anyone that has sat at Mack's counter knows about the pump.) Their delicious sauce is pumped through a clear hose that comes up through the floor from the basement and to the pizza bench. ( What lays beneath in the underground "Pizza Lair"? Just another part of the mystique of Mack's Pizza.)
A packed front counter at Glenwood Avenue.
In the early years Mack's offered an 18 inch pie for $2.14. Before the idea of the pizza box came along Mack's wrapped the "pies to go" in white paper. (And how many remember when a slice was served on a napkin? - I sure do.) You could get a cut for 29 cents and for an extra 15 you could get an icy cold beverage to go with it. ( I really like saying "icy cold beverage"... )
At that time Mack's served "Juicy Orange" which quickly became a favorite, but as the years passed another product would become associated with the pie - Pennsylvania Dutch Birch Beer. ( Any diehard Mack's fan will tell you their drink of choice is Pennsylvania Dutch Birch Beer.) This combination has become a tradition at Mack's and for many years the soda was served directly from the tap of a big Birch Beer barrel out front of the store.
Pictured to the left is Duke Mack in front of the Lincoln Avenue store. A close up shot of the Birch Beer Barrel is pictured above.

All photographs come from the Mack family collection and used with permission.

Copyright 2001 Ralph Grassi