Pizzeria obtains new captain to navigate new seas

The pizzeria on 1435 West G St. has been around for many years, but its new owner is bringing both a new face and new recipes to bring people back to the little island.

Ed Hashen became the owner of Capri The Food Island about a month ago, bringing with him his own Mediterranean traditions and the Italian traditions together under one roof.

“I have been doing Italian food forever,” Hashen said.

Hashen said he and his family come from Egypt, and said he wanted to create a fusion of the Italian and Mediterranean styles of food.

“The pizza is different here, the way we do the crust,” he said.

He said the main selling point of the pizzeria is in the quality of their ingredients.

“People pay a lot more at chains, and those places get their ingredients frozen once a month,” Hashen said. “We get our stuff daily. I get the roast and cut it here myself.”

Capri the Food Island provides more than just pizza, including sub sandwiches and pasta.

He also said the company aims to obtain their ingredients through local channels as well, saying once the weather warms up, he plans to go to the Farmer’s Market on a regular basis. He even makes the meatballs for the subs himself.

As part of his efforts to ease into the new ownership, Hashen said he is working on promoting a positive public image with Elizabethton, including providing free samples to local businesses and other customers.

“We have a good client base here,” he said. “We have some customers who get food from us on a daily basis. One guy comes in every morning for a meatball sub.”

He said part of the challenge of taking ownership of the pizzeria is distinguishing itself from other well-known establishments in Elizabethton and Johnson City.

In the name of expanding their reach, the pizzeria offers delivery as well as online ordering at caprithefoodisland.com or by calling 423-543-2008.

Hashen said people should come into the restaurant with an open mind.

“Do not be afraid to try new things,” Hashen said. “We want to help the community however we can.”

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