AJ’s Heavenly Pizza

AJ’s Heavenly Pizza continues to grow

20170104_164712AJ’s Heavenly Pizza has been a Tiffin staple since 1981. Owner John Hill recently invested significantly in his business, painting the exterior, implementing a new point of sale system in the Tiffin and Findlay stores, and installing a new oven and hood to decrease order turn around time.

“To help the business grow, you need to find the reason for lack of growth,” John said regarding the recent improvements. “The POS has made a huge difference and so have the ovens; everything is faster.”

John said the next frontier is franchising. He and his son-in-law, Joshua Elchert – owner of the Findlay store, have been working diligently to create franchise agreement documents and manuals in order to ensure that the quality of the product and service is the same across all locations. However, the secret recipes will remain a mystery, as franchisees will receive mix packets created at the Tiffin location, meaning everything from their signature jumbo pizza to the one-of-a-kind pepperoni rolls to the house salad dressing will taste the same.

At the age of 21, John and his business partner – a childhood friend who also worked in pizza shops and, like John, a born again Christian – came from Michigan and set out to open a store in Galion. After being turned down in Galion, the pair took a wrong turn on their way to Perrysburg and found the perfect location in Tiffin. After marrying, John and his wife moved to Oklahoma, where they lived for nine years and started two AJ’s locations. Missing the small town life, John and his family moved back to Tiffin. Today, AJ’s is a strong family business, with John’s four children, their spouses, and his five grandchildren lending a hand. For more history of AJ’s Heavenly Pizza, click here.

Pizza Palooza and Family Movie Night set for July 16

Enjoy pizza from 7 local shops, Disney’s Zootopia

Pizza Palooza-1TIFFIN, OHIO – June 23, 2015 – Pizza Palooza and Family Movie Night, sponsored by Reineke Family Dealerships, will take place July 16, starting at 6 p.m., at the courthouse green space in downtown Tiffin.

“It’s going to be a great night to bring your family out and enjoy a taste of Tiffin and a movie,” said Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz. “It will also be the last event to take place on the downtown green space before the groundbreaking of the new Joint Justice Center.”

Seven Tiffin pizzerias have signed on to participate: AJ’s Heavenly Pizza, Domino’s, Fort Ball Pizza Palace, Marco’s Pizza, Napoli Pizza, Pizza Hut and Reino’s Pizza & Pasta. Attendees can purchase $1 tickets that can be redeemed for a slice of pizza from any vendor, potato chips provided by Ballreich’s, soda provided by S&S Variety Beverage or water provided by Hempy Water of Tiffin. Half of each ticket sold will go toward downtown revitalization, and AJ’s Heavenly Pizza has pledged to donate their profits from the event to Patchworks House.

There will also be a blind pizza tasting contest where contestants will attempt to identify the restaurant by taste. The event will kick-off with local celebrities taking the challenge, including Mayor Aaron Montz, Commissioner Holly Stacy and Reineke Marketing Manager Greg Dell.

A screening of blockbuster hit Zootopia will begin at dusk. Attendees are invited to bring their own chairs or blankets to enjoy the show. Tiffin Parks and Recreation is providing the movie equipment.

Families are also encouraged to come ready to play on the green space. Cornhole boards will be provided by Who’s Nuts and WTSC Seneca County Online Radio will be providing music.

If you have questions. please contact Bryce Riggs at 419-889-3932 (email:riggs@senecacounty.org) or Katie Lang at 419.618.2658 (email: lang@senecacounty.org)

About SIEDC

Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on at the company’s blog at http://www.senecasuccess.com.

 

Downtown Tiffin businesses offer “Trick or Treat”

Downtown Trick or TreatA new Tiffin Halloween event, the 1st Annual Downtown Trick or Treat is slated for Friday, Oct. 30 from 3:30-5 p.m. More than 60 businesses, organizations and offices all over downtown Tiffin will be opening their doors to provide candy to children. Afterward, Tom Rodgers Flowers will have cider and donuts for adult trick or treaters from 5-6 p.m.

Organizer Yolanda Gonzales got the idea from a similar event in Owensboro, KY, where she used to live. “It was a win for the community, businesses got positive exposure, kids got candy, caretakers learned more about their community and it was daylight. I found myself entering business that I would not normally go into – it was a wonderful way to meet businesses in town – also meet the people who own the businesses and  people who work there,” she said. “So, I contacted Mr. Montz with the idea and he said it was a great idea – but he needed someone to coordinate it.  I volunteered.”

Gonzales was greeted with excitement and enthusiastic responses from downtown businesses and hopes to make this an annual event. “The owners of Cabin Creations said they used to do this downtown – but no one else remembers.  I hope this becomes a new tradition for Tiffin.”

The following organizations are scheduled to participate, as well as businesses displaying a flyer in the window during the event:

If you have a downtown business, organization or office and would like to join the fun, contact Yolanda Gonzales at yolanda.gonzales4@gmail.com.

This is only one of the many events taking place over the next two weeks. Other upcoming community Halloween events include:

Pizza Palooza and family movie night this weekend

Pizza Palooza flyer 2015Downtown Tiffin’s annual Pizza Palooza will be held this Saturday, July 25, on the courthouse green space. The event runs from 5-9 p.m. followed by a family movie at 9:15 p.m. The Farmers Market will take place earlier in the day from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Several pizza restaurants, including Napoli’s, Marco’s, AJ’s and Reino’s, will have booths at the event where they will sell slices of pizza for just $1 each in order to keep the cost family friendly and equal across the board. Attendees will be able to vote for their favorite pizza during the event. Tiffin Columbian Band Boosters will be selling beverages. In previous years, 500-900 people have attended the event.

This year, the palooza will be followed by a free family movie night on the green. Despicable Me 2 is slated to being playing at 9:15 p.m.

Shop local at 100+ great Tiffin businesses

Small Business SaturdayGiven that tomorrow is Small Business Saturday – a day and event which promotes small and local businesses, I wanted to put in a plug for all of the great locally owned businesses in and around Tiffin. Lots of great reasons why shopping locally is so important (and fun.) This list isn’t inclusive of all the great businesses we have in town – there are so many. Call ahead and/or look online to verify hours before you go. Good luck with your holiday shopping!

Big Ticket Items (15)

  • 2014_Ford_Focus_SEAce Hardware – Christmas trees to power tools…and some of the friendliest folks around
  • Baumann Auto Group – Chevy, Buick, GMC…wouldn’t it be great to put a bow on one of them!
  • Bunky’s Bikes – great selection of Sun bicycles…everything from recumbents to tandems
  • Burns Electric – appliances, light fixtures, cabinets, countertops, flooring – celebrating 50 years in business
  • Coppus Motors – oldest Mercedes Benz dealer in US…plus Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram
  • Crane’s Mattress Superstore – name says it all…Sealy, Simmons, Tempur-Pedic and more
  • Decker’s Home Furnishings & Flooring – 60+ years, 20+ brands…Amish furniture, La-Z-Boy, Butler, Durham and more
  • Ewald Furniture – since 1900…Lane, Vaughn-Bassett, Smith Brothers, Lancer and more
  • Mohawk Golf & Country Club – dining, swimming, Don Ross-designed golf course…a membership might be a great gift
  • Phillips Electric – lots of major appliances…Kitchen-Aid, Maytag, Whirlpool
  • Ralph’s Joy of Living – a regional destination shopping experience…only appliance store in US with wine & beer section…gadgets galore…mid- to very high end
  • Reineke Family of Dealerships – network of 8 locations, 1600 vehicles…Ford, Lincoln and much more
  • Seneca Hills Golf Club – 2015 might be the year to join a great club and amp up your game (and relaxation)
  • Tiffin Aire – have you or anyone you know wanted to learn to fly…here’s your chance
  • Tiffin Pool Center – would anything make the family happier than a pool or hottub? Check them out.

CrystalTraditionsRingsAntiques & Gift Shops (17)

PS4Other – Various Gift Ideas (17)

  • Ace Hardware – not only big ticket items but lots of holiday decor, tools, gift items
  • Bair Bros. Sporting Goods – huge range of sports apparel and equipment…from big leagues to playground
  • Beanstalk & Co – this parochial school uniform supplier has a variety of toys and other items for the holidays
  • Eclipse – window tinting, auto detailing…your vehicle or someone else’s could be the envy of the neighborhood
  • Forrest View Bed & Breakfast – located next to the Forrest Nature Preserve…provides great place to unwind and relax
  • Forte Music – all things music…instruments, gift items, T-Shirts, posters
  • Frameworks – get anything professionally framed…great custom gift ideas
  • Heritage Family Center – great bowling center on Tiffin’s west side…fun activity in the winter!
  • Level Up – retro and new video games, DVDs & VHS, music CDs, and skateboards
  • Line Drive Collectibles – sports cards, gaming cards (Magic, Pokemon, etc.) and other fun items
  • Mountain Man Trading Post – guns, hunting, archery, fishing supplies plus much more
  • Paper and Ink – 3,000 square feet of books, magazines, newspapers, and gifts for all tastes
  • Picture Perfect Photo & Frame – get a holiday family picture (or any other kind of picture) taken today!
  • Ritz Theatre – Tiffin’s beautiful restored theater…buy your favorite person tickets to great upcoming shows or gift cards
  • River’s Edge B&B – plan a getaway close to home but far enough away to enjoy…at the historic Beckley Grist Mill
  • Tiffin Art Guild – a lot of great paintings and other art for sale by local, regional, and national artists
  • Wagner Floral Company – variety of gift ideas…from windchimes and cement angels to throw blankets and plush animals

aveda facialHealth & Personal Care (17)

JeffreyEaringsClothing & Accessories (8)

  • Heidelberg University Bookstore – great place to get your ‘Berg gear and gifts.
  • Jeffrey Jewelry – family-owned, operating since 1946…fine/fashion jewelry, timepieces, giftware, eyeware
  • Kuebler Shoes – Ohio’s oldest retail store focuses on fit and high-quality footware for all occasions
  • Lace and Elegance – over 400 styles of not only wedding gowns but social occasion clothing as well
  • Tiffin University Bookstore – clothing for the TU Dragon in your life…plus glassware, gifts and more
  • Threads – women’s clothing and accessories store (Vera Bradley, Brighton, Pandora)
  • Tuxedo Junction – if you want to dress to impress, this is the place to go…plenty for rent or purchase
  • Who’s Nuts – the best place for Ohio State Buckeyes merchandise…totally devoted to the scarlet and gray

tiffin_university_wine_at_ralphs_joy_of_livingFood & Drink (12)

  • B and B Food Mart – more than 250 international and domestic beers…and they’ll order anything they don’t have
  • Bailiwicks Coffee Company – can get Red Rambler Coffee beans, locally made baked goods, and other things to consume :)
  • Ballreich’s – one of world’s best potato chips…factory store open Fridays…can order online
  • Best Break – fitness and Herbalife drink bar
  • Phoebe’s at 138 – this vegetarian restaurant features both locally made foods for sale and grocery items (including jeni’s ice cream)
  • Heritage IGA – fast and friendly local grocery that makes donuts fresh everyday
  • McCartan’s Grocery – great family owned shop known for fresh meats (incl. prime cuts), also carries variety of grocery items
  • Molyet’s Farm Market & Garden Center – locally grown produce, Amish meats & cheeses, Ohio gourmet foods, deli
  • Ralph’s Joy of Living – great wine selection, olive oil fantastic, craft beers & other goodies
  • Rock Run Bulk Foods – wide variety of bulk foods and nice selection of in-house made chocolate goodies and candy
  • Scrap Happy – scrapbook store and more…also carrying large selection of Neumeister’s candy (yum!)
  • Surf ‘n’ Turf Specialties & More – a “Mom and Pop” fresh meat and seafood market…custom cut steaks, fresh fish, and more

64331_769010069824994_6871484623981484253_nRestaurants & Taverns (31) – after you work up an appetite (or gift certificates)

  • AJ’s Heavenly Pizza – nothing fancy, just good eating…a few tables for dine-in
  • Asian Grill Buffet – daily lunch and dinner buffet with 200+ choices…sushi, hibachi
  • Bailiwicks Coffee Company – great place to have a latte and warm up after a hard day’s shopping!
  • Bear’s Den – historic building in historic downtown Tiffin…nice bar…billiards
  • The Beehive Cafe – farm to table restaurant sourcing local produce, cheese, and meats for the tasty dishes
  • Carmie’s Grill & Bar – great local hangout…large menu…soups from scratch…daily specials…kids eat free
  • Clover Club – great bar and white tablecloth restaurants…great food…100+ items…steaks, seafood, sandwiches, salads, 15 taps
  • Cold Water Tavern – under new management…great new items on menu…craft beers on tap…
  • Cool Creations – local restaurant well-liked by residents
  • Fort Ball Pizza Palace – biggest Italian buffet in Town, popular pizza
  • Golden Crown – an Asian restaurant that gets good reviews…fried rice, egg rolls, sweet & sour chicken
  • GW’s Fine Food & Spirits – restaurant with kitchen open from early (6 am) to late (2 pm+). Steaks, prime rib (weekends), specials.
  • Jac & Do’s Pizza – the dine-in restaurant may not be large, but the pizza is first class
  • Happy Garden – Chinese restaurant at Westgate Shopping Center…can order online…offers traditional dishes and sushi
  • Hunan King – very popular Chinese restaurant in downtown Tiffin…great food, onsite parking
  • Madison Street Tavern – subs, burgers, Philly cheese steak, homemade potato chips, Tuesday night pork, beef, chicken tacos ($1 each)
  • McGowan’s Tavern – local Irish pub with standard fare that goes great with the beer and spirits they serve up with a smile
  • Napoli Pizza – dine-in and carry-out…known as the home of the “foldover”
  • Paulette’s – good old fashioned diner-style restaurant…usually busy
  • Phat Cakes & Cafe – fantastic gourmet cupcake bakery (yum) turned trendy cafe and wine bar…occasional live entertainment
  • Phoebe’s at 138 – vegetarian restaurant owned by great cook…all food from scratch…delicious
  • Pioneer Mill – upscale restaurant in historic mill on the river…great wine cellar (100+ varieties)…talented chefs
  • Reino’s Pizza & Pasta – Tiffin’s first pizza “joint”…great atmosphere…great Italian food…popular lunch buffet
  • Rosie’s Soup & Such – family style breakfast & brunch restaurant…daily specials
  • Sabaidee Coffee House – great selection and some local favorites like Blood Orange Lemonade and White Peppermint Mocha
  • Stiney’s Three Oaks Tavern – chunks, wings, fries, taco Tuesday, Thursday ribs, Friday steak
  • Steamer’s Sports Bar – located in Heritage Family Center…pizza, subs, wings…NFL Sunday Ticket
  • T.J. Willie’s – a Tiffin institution for more than 30 years…ribs, steaks, seafood, pasta, sandwiches, salads, and more
  • The Viaduct Bar & Grill – good pub grub…burgers, apps, wraps, sandwiches, wings
  • Xcaret Mexican Restaurant – very good Mexican option…nice atmosphere…reasonable prices…great services