The Shipping Project

As the holidays are coming, many people are making a list and checking it twice.  For those loved ones who have moved away from their hometown, they often would like a “taste of home” as a gift.  We have researched, long and hard, on how to ship Monical’s pizza.  So here is the story.

In order for us to ship our Oven-Ready (frozen) pizzas, they have to be manufactured in a USDA-approved facility. To date we haven’t found a manufacturer who can make our pizzas to our standards. We make them in our restaurants and can maintain quality that way, but aren’t able to ship them due to the USDA restriction. We continue to work on this and are making some progress, but don’t yet have a satisfactory solution to the issue.

The biggest challenge to manufacturing the Oven-Ready pizzas on a large scale was the quality.  Monical’s dough process requires two days with multiple “hands on” or manual processes.  This “handmade” process insures that our doughs (the crust), the heart of our product, maintain the real “Monical’s” texture and taste.

After researching the possibility of producing USDA-approved frozen pizzas ourselves and discovering that it would be cost prohibitive, we began searching for an existing manufacturer.  With only one exception every manufacturer we contacted wanted a guarantee of production of units far in excess of our estimates.  We first met with this manufacturer in July of 2010 to tour their facility and discuss a potential partnership with them manufacturing our frozen products.  After some time spent reviewing and revising a proposed agreement, we were able to begin the production of our first test batch of frozen pizzas in September 2010.  Our dough production procedures were quite a bit different than the manufacturer was accustomed to and several modifications to our procedures needed to be made to fit into their production process.  Five different product batches were produced in September without achieving the desired crust quality.  We continued to work with the manufacturer to achieve our product quality goal.  Monical’s started with smaller test batches.  5-10 pizzas went well.  So we moved to 50 pizzas.  Still successful.  However when we made 300 pizzas, the production run uncovered glitches in the process.  Because the finished product did not meet our quality standards we decided not to sell the product and instead donated those pizzas to a local food pantry.  To date we have not been able to develop a process that will produce the infamous Monical’s crunch, flavor and aroma.  And isn’t that what you want?  So we will continue to investigate but wanted to be sure our loyal customers knew the “real” story.


  1. I have moved out west and MISS MONICAL’S pizza so MUCH!!!! Can’t wait until we can order and have it shipped to AZ! 🙂

    • Unfortunately, we are no closer to shipping than we were when this blog post was posted. But if you know of someone who still lives in a Monical’s area, we know of no restrictions to someone purchasing our Oven-Ready (frozen) Pizzas and shipping them themselves! Good luck!

  2. I’m ordering the dressing (which I use on my own frozen pizza), and would be interested in ordering a t-shirt of some kind. I will definitely stay in touch for ordering Monical’s frozen pizza when you can send to Texas!

    • We’re so glad you were able to order our Sweet & Tart dressing, unfortunately, we can not ship our Oven-Ready (frozen) Pizzas. I do have a bit of good news though, we are working on getting new t-shirts in our online store in the coming months…you should keep an eye out on the merchandise section of our website!

  3. From. Peoria. Love Love the Monical’s. Delight! I live in. Florida and somehow they can’t make a good pizza , let alone one like. Monicals!!!! Hope to know when your pizza is available . So glad that you are waiting to ensure the quality , it will be worth the wait ! Thank you for all those delicious memories. ,Waiting Somewhat Patiently. Doug. Dixon

    • Mr Dixon,
      Unfortunately, we have still made no progress with shipping due to the USDA restrictions. We don’t believe there is any restriction, however, to you (or someone you know) purchasing our Oven-Ready (frozen) Pizzas and shipping them yourself, so long as they are properly packaged (dry ice is best) to maintain food safety!

  4. Ever since I was a child Monicals has been my favorite pizza in the world! Anytime I got to choose dinner, I chose Monicals! I have so many cherished memories at Monicals, from my 5th birthday party to my high school graduation party. I recently moved to Florida and I have yet to find any decent pizza. I follow Monicals on Facebook and my mouth waters everytime they post a picture. You mentioned that family still in the area could ship the pizzas themselves. So my question is how would they purchase dry-ice and properly ship the pizzas? I have seriously considered doing this, but I’m not sure exactly how to do it.

    • Ms. Quigley, We would recommend checking first with the local shippers (FedEx, UPS or USPS) to see what their recommendations are for packaging and shipping frozen food! They may know who sells dry ice in that area! (I know some grocery stores do sell it because I saw a sign at our local grocery store when they started carrying it!) Good luck! 🙂

  5. Dear Monical’s,
    Here’s an idea. In lieu of shipping your frozen pizzas, is it possible to purchase some of your excellent sauce?

  6. Several of my children and other family members have moved out of state and crave Monicals pizza like crazy. Our closest Monicals is in Canton ,il would they have the frozen pizzas to ship? What i would give to open a franchise in the orlando, fla area.

    • Unfortunately, we not able to ship our Oven-Ready (frozen) Pizzas. In order for us to ship our them, they have to be manufactured in a USDA-approved facility. To date we haven’t found a manufacturer who can make our pizzas to our standards. We make them in our restaurants and can maintain quality that way, but aren’t able to ship those due to the USDA restriction. Additionally, at this time, our Canton location does not carry the Oven-Ready (frozen) Pizzas.

    • Unfortunately, we can not. In order for us to ship our them, they have to be manufactured in a USDA-approved facility. To date we haven’t found a manufacturer who can make our pizzas to our standards. We make them in our restaurants and can maintain quality that way, but aren’t able to ship those due to the USDA restriction. However, we know of no restrictions to you (or someone you know) purchasing and shipping them yourselves following the shippers guidelines for shipping frozen food!

  7. Please start selling franchises in Florida!! There are thousands of transplants here for Central Illinois and we so miss Monicals!! We were just there for the weekend and the highlight of our entire trip was a family p[leaser with an extra large pizza!! We (4 of us) ate every bite!!

  8. why can’t we order the creamy Italian dressing that is served at Monicals?? That is my favorite and I would order it all the time. I know several people here in Tampa that have also said the same thing.
    I understand that it is made for Monicals by American Foods..
    Please let us know if we can start ordering that p[product.

    • Although you can not purchase the Creamy Italian as a pre-packaged dressing, you can order extra of the 5oz cup of it next time you place an order. The price for the 5oz cup varies by location, but as of now, they are 75¢ at corporate locations!

      • I see now that half of your message was hidden and after I replied, I saw that you are in Tampa…sorry about that! At the moment, we have no plans of selling the Creamy Italian as packaged dressing.

  9. I to moved to Florida and my kids and I want Monicals pizza also. I have ordered the dressing and even sent it to others please send me a pizza, lol no really please start sending them or open up this area

    • Unfortunately, we have bad news…we can not ship our pizzas, and we have no current plans to open in FL.

  10. I’m in Fl too and if a location opened near me, I would go there at least once a week, lol! I know there are no plans to open any here, but just had to add that business would do well here :).

  11. I’m craving Monicals hard right now as I’m pregnant so I feel like you should expand. Open up and share with others who have no idea what they are missing!! Only because it’s hard to drive 1700 miles to get a pizza!!! PLEASE CONSIDER IT!!!

    • We really do wish we could be everywhere! We are opening in the St Louis area this spring, we’re not sure where you’re at, but we know we’re not looking 1700 miles away right now. 🙁

  12. PLEASE please please come to Nashville TN – or build a Monical’s hotel near your most southern location. I loveeee the pizza so much!!! Getting ready to make another 5 hour trip to Olney, IL. (Sighhhh) for my beloved Monicals. Yes, just for a Monical’s pizza. I’ll buy several – eat constantly on the way back to Nashville, then hope there is enough to freeze until my next trip.

  13. Miss Monical’s Pizza! Kansas is void of any good pizza. Help please open Monicals in Kansas. I now have some hope as I see one has opened in Missouri.

  14. Come to North Carolina! Lots of Illinois ex-pats here and we all miss you, Monical’s! You would love the weather. We have the mountains and the beach, but no Monical’s. 🙁

  15. How about now – 2017!!!

    Can you PLEASE pretty please with sugar on top ship some pies put of state?

    I grew up with Monicals pizza and miss it like crazy.

    Thanks you 🙂

    • Unfortunately, we are still not able to ship. We do believe that you (or someone you know back home) can purchase our Oven-Ready (frozen) Pizzas and ship them yourselves so long as you follow the shippers guidelines for shipping frozen food!

  16. Why don’t you guys ship by order..I mean we would have to pre-order them by at least a week..maybe that would make the quality production better so they are not making 300 pizzas at a time maybe 50 at a time.,

  17. Luann in Las Vegas, I grew up enjoying fabulous Monica’s and miss it so much. Is there any future plans of shipping? I have much family living out here now and I think the thing we miss the most out here it not enjoying our favorite pizza!

  18. Are there any plans for kentucky locations, I love your pizza and would travel within a reasonable distance but everything is still too far north.

  19. Hello,

    Curious about your franchise information – why are franchises not open to residents in the states that say it is prohibited? Say, If I were interested in opening a franchise location and live in Colorado why is there a stipulation about that?

    • Currently we are concentrating our efforts in developing the states of Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana. If you would like to provide your information to us, we can keep it on file and contact you if we expand beyond those four states.

  20. I see the note saying that your out-of-this-world creamy Italian dressing isn’t available online like your sweet-and-tart is. Why is one available but the other isn’t? If it’s because you obtain it from another manufacturer? If so, would it be possible to get the brand name so we can run out and get some? Thanks from the Alamo City in Texas!

    • We have looked in to having retail packages of our Creamy Italian Dressing, but for the time being, the demand for it is not high enough to put in to production. 🙁

  21. What a shame! The creamy Italian is so good. I know I’d purchase it often! Would you recommend any other brands that are of similar taste? Thanks

  22. I also live in Colorado but grew up in central Illinois. There is nothing resembling Monical’s Pizza out here and I believe there are a lot of central Illinois transplants out here that would love a Monicals!

  23. I’d like to use your dressing at my wedding in December here in Arizona. I’m wondering when the dressing expires. Should I wait to order it? Or will it keep until December if I order it now?

    • Sounds awesome! Our regular Sweet & Tart Dressing generally expires about 4-6 months out, our Sweet & Tart Light on the other had has a much shorter shelf life and expires about 1-3 months out! Most shipments arrive about a week after ordering, we would recommend placing your order about 3-4 weeks before the wedding to allow enough time to receive it, and to have the furthest shelf life you can get! Congrats on the wedding! 🙂

    • Unfortunately, we have no current plans for Alton, IL. We do however now have a location in O’Fallon, MO, that’s still a bit of drive from Alton, IL but it may be an option for you!

  24. Ex Central IL resident and strictly Monical’s consumer here! How can I start a franchise in SW Florida. My wife and I are super dedicated and ready to take whatever actions to open a Monical’s.
    So many folks here love and miss the product. Monical faithfuls for life!!!

  25. I remember going to Monicals the first one ever in Bradley. I was actually friends with the owners daughter and had sleepovers at her Dad’s apartment eating Monicals until I got sick. Great memories. LOL. Maybe one day I will make it back to my hometown and my first stop will be Monicals. Until then, much continued success. I think you are holding yourselves back to much by not franchising your restaurant, Or even getting a USDA distributor that will meet your needs to ship Monicals to so many of us loyal fans. IMHO.

    • Aww what great memories! The good news is that we DO franchise! Currently, 31 of our 63 locations are independently owned franchise locations! 🙂 The bad news is, we have not had luck finding a manufacturer for our Oven-Ready (frozen) Pizzas 🙁

  26. Missing Monicals as I currently live in Minneapolis, we need one here! Also, would be great if you could send a Monicals Pizza to Barstool for a review!

  27. I found Monacals 40 years ago in a suburb of Atlanta. We quickly became addicted. The owner sold out a after a few years and his head waiter bought it. He changed only the name to Michaels. He kept the ovens and as he had been making the pizzas for years, the recipe too. When he closed we were devastated. I wish you could figure out how to mail your pizza as there is nothing like it and the closest one is 500 miles from here.

    • We have looked into selling our Creamy Italian Dressing, but we just aren’t able to. We have heard that Marzetti’s Creamy Italian Dressing is very close to ours!

  28. I have two questions, the first is of the process if shipping pizzas to out of state persons who grew up on your pizza. I read that the manufacturing process is the issue and quality when trying to produce quantity. Is the quality loss in the crust or final pizza unit. If it is in the final unit. Could the crust be manufactured according to USDA requirements and keep the quality your wanting. I see the sauce is available and if we had crust only shipped, I believe we would have a winner. The second question is I know your concentrating on certain areas for Franchise locations. What if there was a group of investors, including me of course that are willing to go for a Monica’s Pizza in Columbia, SC? Please advise if this is possible on both ends and get back with me/us

    • We do apologize for the delay in replying. The problem we are having with shipping is that it needs to be made in a USDA approved facility, not that that the item itself needs to meet certain specs, and we have yet to find a manufacturer to make our crust properly. For franchise information, even though we are currently not in South Carolina, you can still request information and start a dialog with the franchise department to see if it’s possible in the future! Click this link, scroll to the bottom, and click “click here” for franchise information!

  29. So Papa Dels o. Champaign ships their pizzas frozen. If you guys could do the same I’d love to order. We moved to Florida and have been craving Monicals. Thanks!

  30. I for one wouldn’t complain if the packing costs (styrofoam cooler and ice packs/dry ice) were passed on to me as the customer if you were to consider shipping your frozen pizzas directly from the stores and just bypass the mass production search.

    – Missing Monicals in Massachusetts

  31. Still waiting for good news on shipping to an out of state location. I live in FL and just received pies from Pizza King in IN (sent directly from their Muncie location) and Ginos East via I happily paid the container and shipping costs. Please reconsider shipping out of state!

  32. I miss Monicals pizza!!! I moved from Illinois 15 years ago and rarely return these days. I currently live in Virginia and would LOVE to be able to order frozen pizzas. I would absolutely pay the the container and extra shipping costs.
    Goldbelly might be a great option?!?!

  33. Just got through driving 880 miles one way for a pizza. Every time I return home it’s first on my list. I was blown away when I saw the frozen pre made pizzas in a freezer by the entrance. I thought finally delivered frozen pizzas are within reach the future was worth waiting for. Place me on the delivered frozen pizza Guinea pig list.

  34. Goldbelly needs Monicals

    Does anyone from the company read these?? Hi Monicals. Tons of places from all over the country sell through Goldbelly. Speaking for all those from afar that miss Monicals terribly, we’re waiting for the day when we see Monicals on that site (or some other purchase/shipping option). Might that be soon?

    • Unfortunately, we have reached out to Goldbelly about selling our frozen pizzas on their site but we have not heard back from them. We are researching other potential solutions to shipping our frozen pizzas.

  35. Michael Buesing

    Would you share the recipe for your Creamy Italian Dressing, since you don’t sell bottles of it? I live in TN and we buy the Sweet and Tart when home in IN, but the small containers of Creamy Italian aren’t enough.

    Please help!

  36. I know its been about a decade since this was originally posted, but I am leaving a comment in support of shipping Monical’s nationwide using Goldbelly or an alternative. I personally know several transplanted folks from Illinois (myself included) who get an unreasonably strong craving for Monical’s from time to time. There’s just something unique about your pizza that’s just not readily available anywhere else in the country. You’d have a guaranteed customer here if you did offer nationwide shipping.

  37. Wish a Franchise would open here in Arizona!! There are so many people like myself who love Monicals but had to move out of Illinois. Your Pizza and atmosphere are unmatched. I’ve tried to find something similar here in Arizona , nothing comes close.

  38. I was born and raised in central Illinois growing up eating Monicals. I have lived outside of Philadelphia for over 30 years now and 100 miles from NYC and Monicals is still BY FAR my favorite pizza. It’s the first thing I request when I go home to visit. Please find a way to ship. It’s all I want for Christmas……

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