It’s 1969. A New Jersey boy, John “Jingles” Yingling, going into his final year of college, opens a pizza truck in Wildwood. Jingles has made pizzas in Jersey since he was tall enough, at Mack’s, but the truck teaches him his first big lesson in business: you gotta start your own. The pizza truck is a hit, and rakes in enough cash for Jingles to take the next summer off. He goes to Provincetown to visit his sister.
It’s 1970. On this historic visit, Jingles is quick to realize that there is. no. pizza. “AH-HA,” he says, and the idea of Spiritus is born. A friend of a friend gets connected with Jingles, he tells him he knows about pizza, that his grandfather taught him the business.
Enter: Paul Schnieder.
It’s the spring of 1971. The pair collects an oven and a dough machine. They find a hole-in-the-wall at 193 Commercial Street. Slices on napkins for 25 cents a pop go flying. The people of Provincetown
Several years go by – Jingles sister is slinging slices at the front of the house. Their youngest brother comes to town to learn the biz. From the very beginning, Spiritus embraces the family run pizzeria atmosphere.
It’s 1976, and Jingles’ friend Gus Gutterman opens a tiny ice cream business within the, now extended, walls of 193. Arnie Charnick joins the gang, coining the phrase “there’s no business like dough business,” and they carry on as usual for a couple more seasons.
It’s 1978, and rent at 193 has more than tripled. Jingles figures it’s time to buy his own joint. Across the street, an optometrist office goes up for sale. For this guy, it’s a no-brainer, and the paperwork is signed come springtime.
Jingles phones a friend, Richard Iammarino, to paint the walls at 190. He gives Richard creative control, and the guy goes wild. Suddenly, Spiritus transforms into pizza heaven.
Still open ‘til 2am, an hour after the bars close, the business picks up momentum in the wacky 80s. Jingles gets married, and skips town a few miles. He, his wife Titi, and their oldest son, Gui, move to Truro.
Spiritus becomes the late-night hangout – a reputation that Jingles and the gang warmly embrace. By now, slices are a buck, and the menu has expanded. Local art covers the walls. Late night crowds flood Commercial Street.
The late 80s and early 90s bring Jingles and Titi three more kids – all girls (future pizza girls, to be exact.) The gals grow up slinging slices. Their youngest brother, Thor, is born into the family in 2003. Friends, cousins, siblings, aunts and uncles staff the place for decades…
…yes, decades – almost five so far!
Now, the little shop is still owned and operated by the Yingling family and friends.
Local art still covers the walls.
The crowds still fill the streets.
The toppings, still fresh.
The pizza, still delicious.
And the unique spirit of Provincetown, still proudly celebrated.