Meet the owner
At his core, Keystone Pizza owner Roelof Speelman is a hard-working dairy farmer. But the values the Dutch-American cultivated on the farm have served him well in the pizza business, he said.
The journey that landed Speelman in Caldwell in 1993 spans multiple continents and careers.
It was the late 1960s when Speelman found himself detained by U.S. Immigration officials in New Mexico. His dad, who had become concerned after Speelman failed to return home to the Netherlands after an extended tour of the U.S., was the one who tipped off U.S. Immigration officials.
Speelman, who had found an entry-level job in a grocery store, was granted 30 days to leave the country. On the 30th day, finding himself enamored with the West, Speelman opted instead to marry a co-worker he'd been dating.
The couple divorced after eight years, whereupon Speelman moved back to his native Netherlands for 3 years. But, as he recalls, the Old Country had become too "Americanized." So he moved to Idaho and became a dairy farmer.
Before opening up Keystone in 1993, Speelman admits he'd never made a pizza in his life.
Nevertheless, Speelman recounted, "I sold the cows, kept the farm and went into the pizza business ... and here I am. And I'll be here for awhile."
Speelman, who expanded with an additional Keystone in Payette in 2000, added that he loves the pizza biz. "But every once in a while, I miss those cows, too."
On the Menu
The key to Keystone's success is keeping it simple, Speelman explained.
"You want to keep it simple, my friend," he told PLAY. "You don't want to start making hamburgers and hot dogs."
The menu has the pizzeria basics covered: pizza, lasagna, Italian sandwiches, hot wings, and a salad bar.
"Everything is handmade; everything is made from scratch," he added. "We are what we say, and you can take that to the bank."
Keystone Pizza, ideally situated above the now open-flowing Indian Creek in downtown Caldwell, is one of many beneficiaries of the Caldwell Indian Creek Renovation project. The unearthing of Indian Creek means customers can now order pizzas with a view of the water on the east side of the restaurant.
"It looks beautiful," Speelman said of the view. "They did me one heck of a favor with that project because where that window is now used to be a blank wall. It's lit up the place quite a bit. People now come in and like to sit there and enjoy watching the water-wheel turning."
The pizzeria, cozily adorned with a combination of wood panels and bricks, tends to attract more of a family-oriented crowd, Speelman said.
Keystone boasts ample entertainment with two pool tables and a slew of arcade video games.
A plain pepperoni pizza and a cold brew served up by Speelman's daughter, Heather, proved more than true to the owner's doctrine: "Keep it simple."
For a minute during the meal, with its near-perfect crunchiness and not-too-greasy toppings, it was easy to confuse the owner's Dutch accent for an Italian one.