Pandemic pizza hobby became Indy’s popular Sam’s Square Pie

by | People, Q&A

Former NFL Skycam operator and cameraman Jeffrey Miner began crafting Detroit-style pizza as a hobby during the pandemic and selling them at various pop-ups throughout Indianapolis. Quickly, he amassed a following for Sam’s Square Pie, creating lofty, doughy pies with crisp, browned cheese edges, baked in rectangles and served in squares. 

Even before opening his three-month-old shop on Indy’s eastside, Miner had already won awards at the International Pizza Expo, an annual event in Las Vegas that draws legions of fans and entrepreneurs. In 2023, he came in fifth in the World Pan Division, and in March of this year, just before opening, he baked into second. Today, Sam’s Square Pie is a friends and family affair. His teen son, Miles, assists in the kitchen, chef Karyn Lander (of Purely Joy in Indy) works in the front, and his late brother, DJ Indiana Jones, looks over it all from a painting. 

What made you want to become a chef? 
I decided on becoming a pizzaiola after experimenting with pizza dough during the pandemic. As a child and throughout my life, I used to be able to eat an insane amount of pizza. 

What is your favorite type of food and why?
My favorite type of food is probably Mexican because the ingredients are mostly fresh and full of lots of flavor.

Where do you get your inspiration? 
I get inspired through music, art and culture. Through those, you meet the best people and the source of inspiration.

What is your favorite thing to make for yourself and family?
I like cooking breakfast for my family. It’s the first part of the day, and everyone is fed to begin their day. I like a breakfast casserole topped with avocado, maybe a side of chorizo gravy and fresh biscuits.

If you could eat anywhere in the world, where would that be and what would you have? 
If I could eat anywhere in the world, I’d say Spain with a giant paella full of local fresh ingredients. [Here at home,] I really want to visit Bonge’s Tavern and try one of their famous dishes, plus tailgate in the parking lot!

What items are always in your fridge?
Eggs, oat milk and lots of free space, since I’m rarely home!

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