Jan 21, 2011
09:10 AM
Table Talk

Mazzio's turns 50

Mazzio's turns 50

TulsaPeople might be celebrating 25 years this year, but Tulsa-based Mazzio’s LLC is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Mazzio’s founder Ken Selby opened his first pizza restaurant — The Pizza Parlor — on Nov. 11, 1961 across from the University of Tulsa. He opened a second location four years later and changed the name of both to Ken’s Pizza, and saw it grow quickly across the region. In 1979, Selby started a second restaurant concept based on the success of Ken’s and that became Mazzio’s Pizza.

To commemorate this 50th anniversary, Mazzio’s will be sponsoring celebrations and food specials throughout the coming year. Mazzio’s announces a year-long special — two large, one topping pizzas for $19.61 recognizing the year Ken Selby began making pizzas.

“It’s exciting to be a part of this successful local business Ken started 50 years ago,” said Greg Lippert, president and CEO of Mazzio’s LLC. “Mazzio’s is a big customer favorite across 10 states and 166 locations. We would like to thank all of our customers for their years of support by offering them specials all year long.”

Mazzio’s Italian Eatery offers customers fast service, convenience, value and quality. Its extensive menu features a wide variety of pizza, pasta, salad bar and sandwiches. Open daily for lunch and dinner, Mazzio’s is perfect for dine-in, carryout, delivery or catering. For more information about Mazzio’s Italian Eatery, visit www.mazzios.com.

Here’s some background on Ken Selby, Chairman & Founder of Mazzio’s, LLC:

Selby graduated from Northeastern State University in 1958 and attended the University of Tulsa Graduate school in 1960 and 1961.

In 1961 Alan Sheppard was the USA's first man in space. Dion's "Runaround Sue" topped the music charts. Volkswagen's funny little car invaded America in droves. And a young school teacher for Tulsa Public Schools opened a small, one-man pizza restaurant in Tulsa – The Pizza Parlor – which was to be the birthplace of the growing, dynamic Mazzio's Corporation of today. The school teacher was Selby, who ran his new business virtually alone and after teaching a full day as well.

Four years and a growing, loyal customer base later, 1965 was to be a banner year of fateful decisions for Selby. He made pizza his full time job. He opened a second location, which exceeded the success of his first. Plus, the name changed to Ken's Pizza that solidly branded Selby's popular special recipe sauce and thin crust.

Then, in the late 70's, Selby conceived a unique business approach to build more business for his already successful pizza enterprise. His idea called for more square footage of casual dining space, an expanded menu, thicker pizza served with much more meats and cheeses, sub sandwiches, along with a huge salad bar filled with more choices.

That new concept was Mazzio's Pizza. With a premiere in 1979, it was an instant hit that is still making sales and growth history. In ten years, the Mazzio's chain grew to more than 150 locations in a dozen states, setting new industry benchmarks for sales along the way.

Innovation continues with the addition of a line of made-to-order pastas and the launch of the Dippin' Zone®. The concept is in the middle of an exciting remodel program, which gives the restaurants a stylish, contemporary look and feel. The expanded menu and new look resulted in a more descriptive name, Mazzio's Italian Eatery.

Headquartered in Tulsa, Mazzio's Corporation is still privately held with Chairman Ken Selby its sole shareholder.

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