Meet me in St. Louis: local couple brings STL flavors to the North Coast

Growing up in St. Louis, there was only one pizza option. Or, more accurately, only one that Jeremey Adams wanted: Imo’s Pizza.

The St. Louis-based pizza institution, which is now distributed nationwide, is the hallmark of the St. Louis pizza style.

Yes, St. Louis has a pizza style.

This pizza has a thin, cracker-like crust, covered with Provel cheese, a semi-sweet sauce, and is cut into squares or rectangles.

“It’s something completely different that you can’t find around here,” Jeremey says.
Jeremey, who lived in the St. Louis area until age 15, moved to the area with his family and has been back and forth since then. The Archie’s name comes from the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

Even after leaving the Show-Me State, Jeremey couldn’t get the thought of the creamy Provel, thin crust, and semi-sweet sauce out of his mind.

“He’s just always liked the pizza,” says Mallie Adams, Jeremey's wife and co-owner of the business.

So, after years of taste-testing, Jeremey, who has worked as a machinist for the last 20 years, decided to design his own mobile pizza shop.

In October 2022, Jeremey found a 1964 Ford truck with hydraulics and a grain bed attached to it parked in a field in Greenwich. 

Jeremey cuts a pizza for a customer during Winter Wonderland in Sandusky in December.“He came up with a concept where he wanted to build a truck and he had some ideas in his mind,” Mallie says, as Jeremey prepares a pizza from the mobile business on a chilly December evening. “He had this design in his mind and he built it from there.”

That design revolved around the concept that the food would be made and served on one side of the truck with storage, water heater, and generator on the backside. Jeremey set to work over the winter to create a cozy aesthetic for the business.

“We wanted to make sure we were outside the truck with the people instead of behind a window,” Jeremey says. “We thought that was important.”

It doesn’t surprise Mallie that her husband was able to make his dream a reality. The duo met in art class at Seneca East High School (she graduated in 1994, he in 1995).

“We’ve always been artsy types of people and for him to be able to build this did not shock me,” she says. “He has many ideas he comes up with. He’s the ideas guy.”

June 2 was the first day for Archie’s and the last day for Mallie’s 20 years in the ophthalmology field. Archie’s is now her full-time job, while Jeremey continues to work as a machinist.

“I built the truck and she got to quit the job,” Jeremey jokes.

Before the truck could be purchased and refurbished, though, Jeremey knew he had to get the pizza recipe just right, particularly the sauce and the cheese.

He worked on perfecting the recipe a year before the duo, who live in Bellevue, bought the Ford.

“I think it’s just so unique and it tastes different,” Mallie says. “It’s got that smoky, creamy taste to it with the thin crust.”

Jeremey searched for the perfect Provel, a combination of cheddar, Swiss, and provolone cheeses with a low melting point and a gooey, buttery texture. He tried to buy blocks of it in bulk, but just when he thought he had the deal closed, the factory in which the cheese was made burned down.

That’s when he knew he would just need to blend his own. Jeremey brought back some Imo’s cheese from St. Louis and then sourced the swiss, cheddar, and provolone locally. They then “mixed and matched the cheese with a secret blend of spices until we got the flavor close,” he says.

It was a labor of love, with a lot of blending, tasting, and failing, Jeremey says.

“The cheese was so important to me because if you don’t have the cheese, you have nothing with a St. Louis-style pizza,” he says. “I had to get it at least close.”

The Adams hope that Ohioans will enjoy the flavors that are uniquely St. Louis, and so far, the reception has been positive. In fact, Jeremey has even had people tell him that his pizza tastes just like Imo’s. That’s why, Jeremey says, perfecting the recipe was so important to him.

“It’s not like it would ever matter to anyone except the people that it matters to,” he says. “And my family would chastise me, trust me.”

To try the St. Louis-style pizza for yourself, visit Archies’s Pizza Truck on Facebook or Instagram to find out where they’ll be serving this spring.