The Cheese Board gets pizza lovers in Berkeley lining up outside and sitting down on the grass median between traffic. That has to be some good pizza, right? You bet. And the whole idea behind Cheese Board is cool, too. But you probably know the story by now: Cheese Board opened as a small cheese store in 1967, and four years later, the two owners sold it to their employees, creating a 100-percent worker-owned business of which they remained a part.
“I love saying to people that this seems like an impossible business model, but it works, and it works very well,” notes one longtime Cheese Board member on their website.
Cheese Board's pizza program started in 1985. During shifts, employees "started making pizzas for [them]selves by cutting off hunks of extra sourdough baguette dough, grabbing favorite cheeses from the counter, and throwing on vegetables from the market next door." After regular hours on Fridays, they began serving one vegetarian pizza, placing fresh ingredients and unusual cheeses atop a thin, sourdough crust.
— Arthur Bovino, 101 Best Pizzas in America 2015, 8/6/2015