Jimmy Z’s Pizza owner keeps community first
Delicious, square-shaped pizza isn’t all Jimmy Z’s Pizza is offering the community.
For some people, really good pizza is a community service in and of itself. But for Jim Zito, owner of Jimmy Z’s Pizza in Houston, crispy crust and his signature square-shaped pizza is just the beginning. The pizzeria, family owned and operated for nearly 20 years, not only serves the region with a lion’s share of fresh, handmade dough and homemade sauce, but it also continues to donate time, money, pizza and heart to some of the community’s most noble causes. “This is my way of saying how much we really appreciate your business,” said Zito. “You can only say thank you so many times when they stop in the pizza shop.” That thanks has gone a long way in helping the youth and families of Washington County. Not only does Jimmy Z’s support the community’s youth by sponsoring community library, softball, baseball, football, basketball, wrestling, band programs, and several other groups including the Meadows Race Track Chaplaincy and Horseman’s Association, but also the business puts aside resources to sponsor individual athletes who need assistance with travel expenses and represent the communities in regional meets,
tournaments, and games. I take great pleasure in seeing kid’s eyes light up when they see their picture on the wall at Jimmy Z’s,” said Zito. “I like to think that supporting the youth of today helps to shape who they become and inspire them to succeed.”The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life is another cause close to the heart and soul of Jimmy Z’s. Zito and his staff, with the help of restaurant customers and other community members, raise funds throughout the year - each year - in anticipation of the event. In fact, over the past five years, Team Jimmy Z’s has raised more than $25,000 for the American Cancer Society. Like so many others, Zito and his family hope the funds will help to someday fund the research that produces a cure for cancer. “It’s such a good feeling to be able to help different organizations that I feel passionate about,” said Zito. Getting the community involved in the efforts is part of the fun. According to the Jimmy Z’s Facebook page, the Houston Volunteer Fire Department has been teaming up with the restaurant every year around Christmas to donate money for cancer research. Jimmy Z’s mark on the community is a testament to the restaurant’s philanthropic efforts, but the restaurant’s reputation isn’t just about community service. Community members have a thing or two to say about the pizza, too.”I’m a pizza fanatic, and Jimmy Z’s Pizza is the only pizza that I would gladly drive 30 minutes to get,” said one of the restaurant’s regular customers, Kathleen Scattergia. “When I moved to this area the only pizza I could find was from restaurant chains, and it’s just not the same. Jimmy Z’s was a great find. It reminds me of home. Not only is the pizza delicious, but the subs are great too.” “If you are looking for a place to go with your friends and family, go to Jimmy Z’s where everyone knows your name,” advises Imogene Dalbo, who eats at Jimmy Z’s every week.
“My family has been loyal customers of Jimmy Z’s since they opened. Besides having some of the absolute best Pizza, Stromboli, and Zoagies (hoagies) in the area, he has an all-around great menu,” said Mark Simpson, a lifelong Charties resident. “I’ve been affiliated with several youth and varsity booster organizations in the Chartiers-Houston School District for over 10 years. We have the tough task as boosters to generate funds for the organizations to try and help defer rising costs. It’s with the support of generous donations from local business owners like Jim Zito at Jimmy Z’s Pizza that help make this possible. Jimmy has always been there any time I’ve made the call to him, no matter what. His go-to answer has always been: Anything for the kids, Simps!” That’s great praise for a business that started in a gas station convenience store nearly 20 years ago. With its crispy crust and special sauce, Jimmy Z’s has made as much a mark on the community’s appetite as it has on its good causes. Customers are not the only people who have great things to say about Jimmy Z’s. “I have worked here for 6 years and I love my job!” said Misty Restanio. “I love the fact that all the food is made fresh and from scratch. Jim is great boss! He deeply cares about his employees, the customers, and the community.” “Please stop by and give us a try,” said Zito, who community members might recognize from the Jimmy Z’s clothing he wears around town. “We’d really appreciate it.”
Jimmy Z’s can be found at 12 West Pike Street in Houston, PA - 724-916-2211
Article By the Observer-Reporter