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The Creative Fire

For as far back as anyone can remember, if you asked a New Yorker about the best pizza in the city, they’d quickly spit back their favorite corner slice in their old neighborhood. But about seven years ago, the dining room of Roberta’s in Bushwick--and its roaring wood-burning oven--changed that answer for good. For everyone. Suddenly there was a different league of pizza in town, and Roberta’s Pizza Czar Anthony Falco (and dad to Roman, 1.5, and Frank, 4), was giving everyone’s old standbys a run for their money. So who better to round out the third installment of our Bugaboo series than this trailblazing dad?

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Like the Bugaboo by Diesel stroller that you’ve seen over the past few weeks in part one and two of our series with Bugaboo, Falco and his team at Roberta’s were responsible for bringing an inventive and rebellious spirit to a piece of the food industry that was yearning for a bit of complexity.

But don’t think that means throwing out the roots of what pizza actually is. Every pie made at Roberta’s has a base of nostalgia, since Falco grew up eating his own grandma’s homemade sicilian pizza. A lifelong pizza fanatic, Falco never actually cooked pizza professionally before Roberta’s. Talk about on-the-job training. Clearly an obsession with wood-burning ovens, combined with solid pizza-making genes and pure passion for the craft, are the only ingredients truly needed to create noteworthy meals over and over again.

We recently visited Falco and his son Roman at Roberta’s, and he revealed the one ingredient he treasures above all in his recipe for parenting: his wife. Gotta give it to this dude. Here’s a little more about his path to fatherhood.

What do you love about raising kids in NYC?

The huge variety and diversity of pizza options. It's also a great experience to walk around your neighborhood with kids. People engage with you more than if you were just by yourself. And of course the museums and parks.

What surprised you most about becoming a dad?

It was almost psychedelic in the way that kids take you back to experiences you had as a child. You become used to the mental construct of adulthood, and forget that the world is a very different place as a child--it's scary, you have no freedom, and it can be incredibly frustrating. But at the same time there is infinite possibility and the littlest things can be magical.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A ninja.

How did you end up doing what you’re doing?

I was promised that Roberta's was a secret front for Ninjas.

What are some things you hope to teach your little ones about your craft?

You have to love what you do or what you make. It shows in the end product. Have fun but also take it seriously, be in pursuit of perfection while understanding that perfection is impossible.

How has becoming a dad impacted your work and creativity?

It actually fueled the most creative and productive period of my life. When I saw my oldest son's face for the first time my reaction was, "Shit, I need to do something this kid will be proud of."

What’s your best strategy for achieving a family/work balance?

There hasn't been much balance up until now. My wife Bex is a supermom and does everything. I'm a workaholic but I'm trying to delegate more.

How has your style changed since becoming a parent? Do you have a dad uniform?

It hasn't really changed very much. No more mediums, more XLs. No more funny hair cuts, actually no haircuts anymore at all. I wear Roberta's apparel pretty regularly because it is super awesome dad wear! www.robertaspizza.com/shop

What everyday things have made you realize that being a parent involves bravery?

I make pizza. You'd need to interview my wife, who is a full-time mom, about bravery.

Photography by Justin Borucki.

This post was brought to you by Bugaboo.

Bibdana on Roman by Kid Falco

Our babies come out as beautiful, soft and natural as can be—shouldn't their clothes follow suit?

Here are nine of our favorite organic kids clothing brands that prove safe fabrics + stylish designs are a natural fit.

Estella

A brick and mortar store in Manhattan that opened in 2002, Estella is NYC's go-to shop for luxury baby gifts—from sweet-as-pie organic clothing to eco-friendly toys.

L'ovedbaby

@lovedbaby

We l'oved this collection from the moment we laid eyes on it. (See what we did there 🤣) Free of things harsh added chemicals, dangerous flame retardants, and harmful dyes, this collection is 100% organic and 100% gorgeous. We especially adore their soft, footed rompers, comfy cotton joggers, and newborn-friendly kimono bodysuits.

Looking to stock up? Don't miss Big-Find Thursday every week on their site—a 24-hour flash sale that happens Thursdays at 9 a.m. PST and features a different body style, collection, and discount every week!

Hanna Andersson

@happyhannas

One of our all-time favorite brands for durability, style, + customer service, Hanna Andersson doesn't disappoint in the organic department, either. From an aww-inducing organic baby layette collection all the way to their iconic pajamas, there are so many organic styles to swoon over from this beloved brand. And we swear their pajamas are magic—they seem to grow with your little one, fitting season after season!

Monica + Andy

@monicaandandy

The fabric you first snuggle your baby in matters. Monica + Andy's (gorgeous) collection is designed for moms and babies by moms with babies, and we love it all because it's made of super-soft GOTS-certified organic cotton that's free of chemicals, lead, and phthalates. Newborn pieces feature thoughtful details like fold-over mittens and feet.

Finn + Emma

@finnandemma

"Here boring designs and toxic chemicals are a thing of the past while modern colors, fresh prints and heirloom quality construction are abundant." We couldn't agree more. Made from 100% organic cotton, eco friendly dyes, and in fair trade settings, we love this modern collection's mix of style + sustainability.

We especially love the Basics Collection, an assortment of incredibly soft, beautiful apparel + accessories including bodysuits, zip footies, pants, hats, and bibs, all available in a gender-neutral color palette that can work together to create multiple outfit combinations. The pieces are perfect for monochrome looks or for mixing with prints for a more modern style.

SoftBaby

@littleaddigrey for @softbaby_clothes

You'll come for SoftBaby's organic fabrics, but you'll stay for their adorable assortment of prints. From woodland foxes to urban pugs, there's no limit to their assortment (meaning you'll even be able to find something for the new mama who's hard to shop for). Plus, the name says it all--these suckers are soft. Get ready for some serious cuddle time.

Gap Baby

@gapkids

Organic may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the Gap, but this popular brand actually carries a wide variety of organic (and adorable) baby + toddler clothes. From newborn layette basics to toddler sleepwear—and more—there's something for everyone in this collection. Everything is 100% cotton, super soft + cozy, and perfect for eco-conscious mamas.

Winter Water Factory

@winterwaterfactory

Certified organic cotton with Brooklyn-based swagger? Be still our hearts. Winter Water Factory features screen-printed textiles in bold designs you'll want to show off (get ready for some major Instagram likes). And the husband-and-wife co-founders keep sustainability at the forefront of their brand, meaning you can feel good about your purchase--and what you're putting on your baby.

The company makes everything from kids' clothes to crib sheets (all made in the USA). For even more cuteness, pair their signature rompers with a hat or bonnet.

Under the Nile

@underthenile

Under the Nile has been making organic baby clothes since before it was cool. Seriously, they were the first baby clothing company in the USA to be certified by The Global Organic Textile Standard. They've kept up that legacy of high standards by growing their Egyptian cotton on a biodynamic farm without the use of pesticides or insecticides, and all of their prints are made with metal-free colors and no chemical finishes.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Whether I live next to you or across the country, social media makes it easy for us to stay updated on each other's lives and that's a wonderful thing. I love seeing pictures of your kids and I think it's great that you choose to share videos of your child singing, giggling and taking his or her first steps.

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