Kirk Vartan is a native New Yorker, NBC technologist, former hi-tech professional, community activist, and small business owner of two pizza shops in Santa Clara and Sunnyvale.
Kirk is a strong advocate of smart urban developments, placemaking, mobility solutions, and influenced the design of the Agrihood in Santa Clara. He is the president of the Winchester Neighborhood Action Coalition, co-founder of Catalyze SV, vice-president of the Cory Neighborhood Association, and a co-chair of the Stevens Creek Advisory Group, sponsored by the City of San Jose to address issues and opportunities that will come with the development of that region's urban villages. In 2019, Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor appointed Kirk as the Special Advisor to the Mayor. In April 2020, A Slice of New York led the effort to create the Community Meal Initiative, a non-profit coalition to support local frontline workers with meals during the pandemic. And in December 2021, Kirk became a Board member of NOVAworks, a very active Bay Area’s federally funded workforce non-profit.
After moving to San Jose in 1998 to work for Cisco, he quickly came to miss the pizza he grew up with. In 2006, he left hi-tech and together he and his wife created A Slice of New York, a small pizza shop celebrating its 15-year anniversary this year. Employee ownership was something Kirk and Marguerite wanted for their employees day one, but there was no easy mechanism to accomplish this.
As the business grew, a second location was added in 2011, and an empowered workforce emerged. The prospect of transitioning to a worker-owned business seemed the obvious choice. On July 1, 2017, A Slice of New York became the first brick-and-mortar worker-owned cooperative in the South Bay. Kirk continues to advocate for employee ownership as an option for business owners, working with local, state, and national resources to grow the coop movement. A Slice of New York is a founding and active member of the Worker-Owned Recovery California Coalition (WORC Coalition). WORC’s mission is to advance worker ownership through advocacy, outreach, and education for a more equitable California.
Kirk and his wife enjoy collaborating with city officials and neighbors on quality-of-life challenges, supporting their local community, and spending time with the pizza crew who have become extended family. #asliceofny #asony #asonyfam #poweredbypizza #workercooperative