Author: Luis Velazquez, BSU student
Avon House of Pizza (AHOP), located on Main Street in Avon, has been a family-owned business for over 40 years serving the community with high-quality food. It is due to this focus of high-quality that AHOP has become the go-to location for a slice of pizza, dinner platters, and great pasta dinner. Established in 1978 by owner Peter Panagopoulos, and overtaken by son James, alongside his wife Maria in 1995. AHOP’s goal is to provide great food with large portions for a great price. The great thing about AHOP is that as soon as you enter their doors they make you feel like family.
Jimmy, the current owner of AHOP and son of Peter Panagopoulos, can be quoted as stating “We do not have any frozen foods delivered, we do not premake anything, we make almost everything from scratch and it shows in the taste. We make our sauce and dough on a daily basis. We provide such high-quality hand made foods at a great price that you will want to come back and visit us.”
Through the power of the internet, AHOP has expanded its services where you can order online to make it easier for you to have a meal delivered or have the menu in front of you at any time so you can arrive and know exactly what you want to order. AHOP’s menu can be found on their website (http://www.avonhouseofpizza.com); and, you can also visit their Facebook site to see photos, posts, reviews, videos, etc.
Why do I go back? That is easy, it’s a friendly environment and as soon as you go in you are greeted by Jimmy or his wife, Maria, on a first-name basis. I enjoy going to a place where my family is treated as one of the AHOP family members.
Tell me about your business.
We are a family business with over 40 years of servicing the community. We focus on providing the best foods with large portions for a great price. We want everyone to feel like family and they were treated as such.
Why did you choose this line of business?
Well, this business chose me. Since the age of 15 years old, I worked from 2:00 pm until 7:00 pm on Saturdays helping my parents clean or even making pizza dough in a small restaurant they had nearby in Avon. After high school, I attended Boston University where I changed my major, which was towards premedical, to dental technician. However, I continued to work with my parents on Saturdays at the restaurant. Later, I made the decision that changed my life forever, I decided to work at the family business and I have never regretted this decision. The pizza business has always been in my familys blood.
When did it start? What Year?
AHOP was established in 1978, I took it over after my father retired in 1995.
What was the toughest thing you went through when opening? What inspired you to keep going as you were getting the business off the ground?
The biggest challenge was the renovation of the pizzeria. The location was a hair salon, so the transformation from that type of business to what we wanted and envisioned was a challenge. However, we had so many high expectations to succeed that this was the fuel that inspired us to keep going and get it off the ground.
If you had to start over from day 1 what would you have done differently? Or what was your most difficult challenge?
To tell you the truth, there is nothing that I would have done differently. The most difficult challenge to date is the technology, I’m not into technology as I should be. I leave that part to my son Peter who manages the website, social media, etc.
What is the toughest part of having a business in 2020?
Now? COVID-19. The pandemic has caused our restaurant to be closed on Mondays, in addition to our original day off, which was Sunday.
If a customer was to choose between your business and 3 others just like it why would you suggest they at least give you a try ﬁrst? What makes you stand out?
Well, first is the quality of food, We make everything by hand. NOTHING is bought frozen, NOTHING is premade; our portions, I believe, are big. What makes me stand out? I believe it’s our personality; we treat everyone like family and we want everyone to be satisfied when they leave our location.
What is the number 1 way you currently bring in new customers?
Our website is constantly being updated, we advertise and bring in new items, and stay active on our social media platforms.
Has internet technology (website, online ads, social media, etc) played a big part in your growth and making your company more successful?
If you had to look 6 months to a year into the future where would you like to see your business be?
To tell you the truth I’m happy with where it’s at, I would not change anything.