AJ’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.