Were you to drop into Pagliacci to grab a slice for lunch, then, because you can never have too much pizza, stop to pick up a whole pie for the family dinner, you might do a double-take. Isn’t that the same guy who sold me lunch?
Identical twins Mikael and Alex Croy are that rare set of twins who work for the same company. Combined, they’ve worked at Pagliacci for nearly 18 years. Both have worked their way up to associate manager positions, Mikael at Madison, and Alex at Sand Point.
They coordinate their schedules so that they share a day off, which, naturally, they spend together. What do they do? “My brother and I are both very big nerds,” Mikael says with a laugh. “We play a lot of video games. We play Magic the Gathering and Pathfinder.”
“Pre-quarantine, we’d hang out in the evenings, once my kids were in bed,” Alex says. “We’d play D&D, Magic, board games, whatever.” Lately, they’ve been substituting online gaming for their regular in-person mammoth board game sessions.
Growing up in Ballard with a single mom who worked three jobs to provide for them, they learned to entertain each other. “Alex and I had each other,” Mikael says. “We learned to take care of ourselves and how to keep ourselves entertained. That’s kind of why we started playing all these games together.”
And how did they come to work for Pagliacci? Mikael started it off. After working as a snowboard instructor at Snoqualmie, a golf caddie, a stint working with Alex at their father’s restaurant in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and some time at Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, Mikael applied to Pagliacci. He worked his way up from cook to shift lead to associate manager. Four years later, Alex decided to join him.
Alex explains what drew him to Pagliacci: “My brother, of course.” But he goes on to explain why he’s made a career of it. “Pagliacci cares about the community and taking care of its customers. A company that cares about people is really important to me. In the time I’ve been at Pagliacci, I’ve always felt cared about. The things I’ve had to say are listened to.”
Mikael adds, “Pagliacci really takes care of its people. They pay very well. They have full benefits. What other pizza place do you know of that has a 401K?“
Both brothers keep their cool under pressure and manage their teams with a steady hand when it gets busy. “Is it stressful? Of course, but every job is stressful at times,” Mikael says. “But it’s worth it because Pagliacci is a really good company to work for.”
And Mom? She now drives for Metro, as does Alex and Mikael’s stepfather. When time permits, they all get together, including Alex’s wife and their three kids. “I’ve got to give it to Mom,” Alex says. “She worked really hard to make sure Mikael and I were taken care of. It left us with lots of time to bond and to grow the relationship we have now.”