Miss Farmington, chamber serve up pizza to public safety

By: Sherri Kolade | Farmington Press | Published September 7, 2016

 Grace Murphy puts pizza she made into the oven.

Grace Murphy puts pizza she made into the oven.

Photo by Deb Jacques


FARMINGTON — It starts with dough and ends with community. 

That was how Miss Farmington, Grace Murphy, and Kristin Curle Houchins, a Greater Farmington Area Chamber of Commerce representative, made pizza Aug. 30 at Bellacino’s Pizza & Grinders, 32720 Grand River Ave. — with a generous sprinkling of cheese. 

The duo delivered one pepperoni and two cheese pizzas to the Farmington Public Safety Department to show their thanks and support.

“It was super fun. I never made a pizza in this setting before. I think I did all right,” Murphy, a Mercy High School student, said.

Before making the pizzas, Murphy set her crown on a pink pillow inside a clear box and her evening gown down on a chair. Murphy, who likes cheese pizza herself, tied her hair back, put on an apron and got to work.

She said that participating in community events is fun, naming Farmington Hills’ annual Marshmallow Fly and Fry and more.

“I’ve loved every second of it, and I can’t wait for the rest of the year,” she said.

The 12-year tradition of making the pies for the Farmington Public Safety Department started with Ginny Morris, who organizes the Miss Farmington pageant community events.

“We wanted to give back — look at what they do for us,” Morris said of public safety officers. “It started, like, 12 years ago. We held our orientation for Miss Farmington here (at Bellacino’s), and … we keep coming back.”

The community partnership has blossomed, which is a good thing for everyone, Bellacino’s owner Joe Takla said from behind the counter.

“One thing that I truly enjoy — not just the aspect of making food and making people smile from the food — is just interacting with the public, people in the community. Seeing the same faces and getting to know everybody that is here. Pizza brings people together; food  brings people together.”

Curle Houchins, who also made pizza that day with Murphy, said that was her first time making pizza with Miss Farmington. The chamber was Murphy’s sponsor for the Miss Farmington pageant this year.

“It is a chance to work with Miss Farmington … and bring some great pizza to the hardworking people at Farmington (public) safety,” she said, adding that pepperoni pizza and chicken barbecue pizza are her favorites.

Curle Houchins added that delivering the pizzas is more than just bringing over a meal.

“I think, especially with the way things are in the world these days and the perception of the police force, to me it is very important that we’re able to give back to our Farmington public safety. They are amazing men and women … and (put) their lives on the line every day for us,” she said.

Farmington Public Safety Director Frank Demers said that the pizza was “excellent.”

“I don’t think it lasted very long,” Demers said, adding that the Public Safety Department appreciates the recognition and tradition, which he described as “real special.”

“(It) makes us feel good knowing that we have the support from the community and ... all the people who coordinated (the event).”

Demers added that he is a pepperoni-and-cheese kind of guy, which is what was delivered and then some.

“We are all in this together,” Demers said. “Public safety is not a one-sided element of the community. We rely on the community, and anytime we have folks that work or volunteer in the community to recognize us, (it) makes it more enjoyable.”