A Columbus tradition
For most of their life, cousins Chuck Thompson and Brian Baker have been in the pizza business. When Chuck was a child, his father, and Brian's Uncle, Robert, put a bed in the back room of his Columbus, Ohio restaurant, Joseppi's Pizza. Robert Thompson opened the restaurant in 1969 and taught Chuck how to make a pizza when he was only four years old.
With all those years of experience behind him, Chuck and his father always planned for him to take over the restaurant, when his father retired, however things happened sooner than anticipated. In 1998, Chuck's father was killed in a motorcycle accident, so although it was earlier than planned, he sold his trucking company and took over the two-store business to carry on his father's legacy.
"We entered the 1999 Columbus Pizza Challenge and came in first place in all three categories. It's the first time any restaurant has done that in the ten years this challenge has been around," Chuck explains. One of the best things about this competition was that one of the category judges was from a local radio station. Just think of the free publicity received for pleasing the taste buds of a local disc jockey—there's probably no better way to get the word out about your pizza than with a happy DJ.
But the winning didn't stop there, Chuck explains, "We also competed in the Grove City Pizza Olympics and took home the Gold Medal for the best crust and toppings. And we recently placed first in the Gourmet Pizza category at the 2000 Mid-America Restaurant, Soft Serve & Pizza Show." With their success in these competitions, Joseppi's Pizza has had their name published all over the country. Not only did they get local media coverage, but they were featured in `Za News in the December 1999 issue of Pizza Today and named the Restaurant of the Month on Okidata's web site.
So what is Joseppi's secret to winning all of these pizza competitions? "I think our pizza is so popular because we make our own dough and sauce from scratch. We also make our own sausage, not many restaurants can say that. And our best secret is that we're dedicated to providing our customers with only the best pizza and always have our eyes open for new ideas," Chuck declares.
They have all the ingredients for success: a strong family commitment, award-winning pizza, and most of all, the traditions passed down from Chuck's father.
Chuck Thompson passed away in 2018 after a brave battle with cancer, succeeding him in running the local chain is his cousin Brian Baker, who was taught everything about pizza and community by his Uncle Bob, Founder Robert Thompson. Energized and excited to explore new pizza options for customers, Brian is ready to continue the tradition started by his uncle and modernize a Columbus favorite.