Former Employee (1985-1989)
Hi, my name is Denise Hover, and I want to congratulate Pizzamania on their 50 Year Anniversary. I was hired on July 2, 1985 at $3.35 an hour, yes, that was the minimum wage back then. I left as an Assistant Manager in June 1989, making $6 an hour to go work for McDonnell Douglas for a whopping $6.42 an hour. I have been blessed with two jobs in my life. Pizzamania for 4 years and McDonnell Douglas/Boeing now going on year 35.
In the Summer of 1985, my best friend, Becky, said we needed to get jobs at 16. We applied and were hired by Duane Roscoe. Bill Pilkington, Candy Sopp, Rosie Rubalcava, Chuck Robles, Rich Pilkington, Debbie Quiroz and Doug Lovett were my first mentors. Jim Barritt and Warren Haines were the owners, who I had seen “spinning pizzas” as a kid.
My favorite memories of Pizzamania were football games on Thanksgiving morning for the Staff because we were closed that day, Jo Barritt’s famous fudge plates that she would make the employees at Christmas, meeting people’s friends and families, as Pizzamania is a host for many events, fun events like Michael Jackson and Prince concerts with fellow employees, trips to Medieval Times, hanging out at many friends’ houses, and crazy pizza rushes where we all barely held it together from 4 pm to 9 PM, my folks and grandparents buying the last two Pizzamania delivery trucks and the incredible friendships we were able to build through the years.
I still keep in touch with many people who I worked with over my tenure, whether it is through Facebook, Text Messages, Christmas Cards, Family Parties, or even meeting up with some of them at where else…Pizzamania. I enjoyed getting to swap over to both the La Palma and Long Beach Pizzamania stores every once in a while. I loved getting to know our many customers, whether it was the Sheriff’s Dept, the many local businesses who ordered afternoon lunches, the delivery teams from our bread guy, our produce team, our beer guys, and of course, our Sausage Guys, Tom and Jess. Bill would have to often get me off of the counter because I could be up there talking to everyone when there were pizzas to top or sandwiches to make.
I am so impressed by Pizzamania’s menu expansion now and of course….the bar expansion. And now they even have their own Beer too. Just amazing.
I still live in Whittier, so I get to order often and get to use Pizzamania as one of the known “meet up spots” for old friends to gather. I have also shared how good our pizza is with so many and I have folks from my job that go to Whittier just to enjoy the experience as well. I had family members and friends that had jobs at Pizzamania as well. Pizzamania became one big family when you worked there. We had to bond. When you face huge rushes, a back room overrun with dishes (there were no dishwashers when I worked there), a bar full of families having parties, delivery guys rushing in and out in a hurry and the hustle of the line at the counter, you relied on each other. I loved my time there, even with tasks of folding boxes, food prep and teardown at the end of the night and even cleaning the bathrooms. I think that the teamwork I learned there helped me to be very hard working and flexible in my next career choice.
As Bill, Warren Jr, Doug, Jim and Warren Sr continue to grow and nurture the business, I am hoping to continue to enjoy it as a Customer, and a Friend. Go Pizzamania Go!! For my fellow consumers, always buy the Large Pizzas, as 1, Leftover Pizzamania is an acceptable breakfast choice, and 2. Pizzamania cooks well as leftovers in the Air Fryer.
Cheers to 50 more years!! Thank You for the great quality pizza and the many friendships and memories.