Husband and father of four simplifies pizza night with pre-measured spice packets
SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich., October 2017–Shelby Twp. Firefighter, Matthew Tidrow, 45, has made homemade pizza night attainable for on-the-go families. Just Add Tomatoes, the pre-measured spice packets that Tidrow, a husband and father of four, created in a pinch, is added to a 28oz can of crushed tomatoes for a homemade gourmet pizza sauce. The gluten, MSG, and preservative free packets can be found in stores throughout Michigan and online at www.justaddtomatoespizzasauce.com.
Two years ago, while his wife was working, Tidrow was cooking pizzas for his four boys. “I opened the refrigerator to grab the leftover pizza sauce, and realized it was spaghetti sauce,” Tidrow laughed as he recalled the night he first created his spice packets. “I just started throwing a bunch of spices together [into a can of diced tomatoes]. A little bit here, a little bit there – kind of guessing.”
The pizza quickly earned the approval of his sons, ages 12, 10, 8 and 5.“Even the two that have sophisticated pallets,” he joked. Tidrow recreated the recipe from memory, jotted it down and measured it into Ziploc bags as a time saver for future meals.
Tidrow said he loves that his boys can help him with dinner, and that even on busy evenings, his family can have a home-cooked meal. His goal for the business is to grow and expand to stores across the United States to reach more families. He hopes that one day the business will be able to support his family and put his children through college. “It would also give me something to do when I retire from the Fire Department,” he said, “Maybe my boys would be interested in running part of the company.”
Tidrow and his business partner, firefighter Andrew Moran, 32, have convinced Kroger stores throughout Michigan and Sheena’s Marketplace in Romeo, Mich. to sell their packets, and have recently stocked the shelves of Vinckier Foods in Armada, Mich.