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 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.

Domino’s coming to Tiffin

National chain to open new location in October

Domino'sTIFFIN, OHIO – July 15, 2015 – Regional Domino’s franchise owners Brian and Jennifer Edler announced today that they are bringing the second largest pizza chain in the world back to Tiffin. The store is set to open in October at 240 West Market Street.

Jennifer said they chose to open a Tiffin location because they often visit the town and believe it has great potential. “We go through Tiffin a lot visiting family in Willard, and Brian managed a Domino’s store in Tiffin about 20 years ago. We know the town pretty well,” she said.

“I am happy to welcome a new restaurant to Tiffin and have a strong national brand alongside our locally owned businesses, creating more options for the community,” Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said.

Though the opening is weeks away, they are currently hiring employees for the Tiffin location to be trained at other locations, in order to be ready for the opening. Jennifer said a store of this size usually requires about 20 employees.

Brian Edler is a notable Domino’s franchise owner, with 12 other stores. In 2012 Domino’s began selling the Parmesan Bread Bites he invented nationwide, and he was featured in a national ad campaign to promote the new item. He is the Midwest chapter representative of the Domino’s Franchise Association and in May of 2015 he won the International Franchise Association Gold Franny Award for operational excellence.

He broke the world record for most pizzas made, cooked and boxed in an hour, as part of an event that raised over $37,000 for local and national charities. “We are big believers in supporting all the communities in which we own and operate stores, and will do so when we open in Tiffin,” Brian said.

Founded in 1960, Domino’s is the second largest pizza chain in the United States and the largest worldwide, with 11,000 franchise and corporate stores in 70 countries.

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 www.senecasuccess.com.

Fourth downtown business awarded façade grant

Reino’s Pizza and Pasta to update exteriorReino's Exterior

TIFFIN, OHIO – April 7, 2015 – Today, the Architectural Board of Review approved the fourth Façade Enhancement Grant of 2015 for Reino’s Pizza and Pasta. With an investment of nearly $6,000, the planned improvements for the building at 73 East Market Street include tuckpointing brick, replacing third floor windows, painting trim and repairing the roof.

Owner John Reino appreciated the 50 percent match to his investment. “Maintaining a nearly 150 year old building can be expensive; the Façade Enhancement Grant really helps alleviate repair costs and keep businesses in downtown Tiffin looking good.”

According to John Huss, local historian and Architectural Board of Review Chair, ground was broken on the 73 East Market Street building in May of 1867. The first restaurant to occupy the space was Frederick’s Saloon in the 1880’s and many businesses have occupied the space since, most notably, the Royal Theater from 1909 to 1915. The building was also home to Brazley Meat Market in the 1930’s and the Tiffin Jewelry Store in the 1950’s.

Reino’s was founded in 1950 by Frank Reino and was the first pizza establishment in Tiffin. Purchased by his son, John Reino, in 1983 and relocated to the 73 East Market Street building in May of 1990, Reino’s continues today as a cornerstone of the community, serving fine Italian cuisine.

This is the fourth Façade Enhancement Grant approved in 2015, bringing the total investment by downtown businesses to nearly $60,000 and the amount of grant money spent to about $20,000. Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz is thrilled by the success of the program. “It’s great to see downtown business owners so enthusiastic about revitalizing the community and making Tiffin a beautiful place to live and work.”

About the Façade Enhancement Program

This City of Tiffin reimbursement grant program was started in 2014 and covers 50 percent of eligible exterior improvements on residential and commercial structures within the downtown historic district. Each building is eligible up to $10,000 per calendar year. Last year, $50,000 in available funds supported 11 projects, resulting in a total investment of more than $150,000. Learn more at senecasuccess.com (search Façade Enhancement.)

 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 www.senecasuccess.com.