Before opening the Conroe location, Gallegos had a short career in the corporate world. While the Conroe location closed in 2012, he opened the Kingwood restaurant in 2007 and The Woodlands location in 2013.
“We’ve really, really cemented our brand in the community of Kingwood, Atascocita [and] Humble,” Gallegos said. “I feel really fortunate for what they’ve provided for me based off this store. This [Kingwood] store we’re sitting in right now is by far our strongest store of all we’ve had. ... That’s just a testament to the community that we operate in.”
He said a commitment to authentic New York pizza sets him apart from other restaurants and has earned not only the support of New York transplants, but also the recognition in various competitions and expositions across the country.
There are three elements that Gallegos said a New York slice of pizza must have: crispiness, softness and chewiness. RC’s Pizza does this by using high-quality ingredients; a thinner sauce; and whole-milk, low-moisture mozzarella.
“To me, it’s more about, ‘Let me educate this consumer; let me make them feel better,’” he said.
Like many businesses, the restaurants were hit by the coronavirus pandemic. After opening in 2018, its franchised New Caney location in the Valley Ranch Town Center closed in July, citing difficulties from the pandemic.
However, Gallegos said business at the Kingwood location rose 22% as the community has come out in support of the business.
“They accept us with open arms, and they support us,” he said. “They saw that we were very purposeful about what we were doing.”
As business continues to grow, Gallegos has begun experimenting with different pizza, offering a Chicago-style deep dish and a Sicilian pan pizza. This requires modifying his recipes, but he said it is more important to achieve an authentic flavor for people who grew up eating that style of pizza.
“You have memories, and you’re going to identify with that style of pizza,” he said. “Food’s all about the times that we share it with family as we build memories, and our whole lives are developed around food from the minute we’re born.”
RC’S NYC Pizza & Pasta
1202 Kingwood Drive, Ste. A, Kingwood
Hours: Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 11 a.m.–10 p.m.