Gastro Obscura would like to introduce the world to Scott Wiener, owner of the world’s largest pizza box collection. Wiener, who lives in Brooklyn, has been collecting pizza boxes for the past 10 years and has amassed 1,550 of them by now. More or less. They are all pristine, undamaged by crumbs or grease stains.
Wiener didn’t intend to become a pizza box collector. He started off as a pizza tour operator. But on one intensive tour of 333 pizzerias in his native New Jersey, he began to take an interest in pizza boxes. A few years later, during a fundraiser, he asked people to send in pizza boxes as a way of building interest. (“Foolishly, I thought, ‘We need a reason for people to show up to this thing,’” Wiener told Gastro Obscura. “I forgot that dollar slices of pizza would be enough.”) Afterward, people continued to send in boxes. By 2013, he had 595 and an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records.
The collection has only grown from there. It takes up most of his apartment and he appears to have a storage unit as well. This Saturday, June 13, he will be hosting a virtual pizza party and showing off some of his greatest treasures and maybe sharing some slices of pizza delivery history. Like did you know that pizzerias only started using corrugated cardboard in the 1960s? Or that McDonald’s once tried to sell pizza? Wiener can tell you all about it. And he has the boxes as evidence.