Sticking With The Community For 50 Years
Story by Tessa
One should be prepared to sit
for hours, listening to a storybook chock-full of tales
upon sitting down with Charlotte Vickers, owner of
Reynoldsburg’s favorite pizza joint, Vick’s Pizza. That
is, if you catch her with some free time, which seems
rare for the business owner and cook.
Vickers has anecdotes from her father-in-law’s past
ownership, lasting 20 years, and ones from her and
husband Doug’s tenure, which is 30 years strong.
I should tell you this story…” she would begin.
Any passerby would be enthralled to hear of the great
history behind Vick’s Pizza’s past 50 years and about what they
have in store for times to come.
Pizza began in 1958 when Hollis Vickers, a hard working man from
Oak Hill, Ohio, won over his business partner with the idea.
Their first shop was located at the south end of Columbus and
named Cys Pizza. It was then changed to 3C Pizza, chosen because
of their location on the Three-C Highway.
Though pizza pie inspired Hollis, he still honored his belief to
give his first job all he had. As Hollis continued to work long
days at Armour, the meat processing center in Columbus, he hired
16-year-old Jim Grote and his grandmother to make the shop’s
Little did Hollis know that
just a few years later Grote would apply what he learned to his
own endeavors at Donatos Pizzeria, which he opened in 1963,
while in his sophomore year at the Ohio State University.
Charlotte Vickers describes Vick’s Pizza as the “grandaddy” of
Hollis decided to relocate his
eatery to Reynoldsburg in 1961 and settled on the name Vick’s
Pizza, in honor of his last name turned nickname. He chose the
site because he saw the potential in the then remote area and
wanted to be the community’s first successful pizza shop.
The building Vick’s Pizza resides in now,
resting in the heart of Old Town Reynoldsburg, is the same one
Hollis chose in 1961. Before his move, the building, dating back
more than 100 years, originated as a dry goods store. Charlotte
Vickers narrated the picture in her mind of their pizza shop as
a dry goods store and detailed the similarity of the building’s
structure to a dry goods store one would see in an old Western
Hollis’ small but profitable menu
consisted of three sizes of pizzas, a salad with his original
house Italian dressing, sub sandwiches, and spaghetti. Vickers
considers their biggest change over the last 50 years was the
broadening of the menu to “fit with the times.” Now, Vick’s
Pizza offers seven different categories on their menu, ranging
from specialty and take-and-bake pizzas to “munchies,” or
appetizers. It also features desserts fresh from their oven and
The Cheesecake Factory. However, she believes that they could
scratch what they have added, rely on the original items, and
still remain a favorite. In fact, since November, they have
begun to honor the shop’s roots by selling Hollis’s homemade
Italian dressing by the bottle. Soon, they hope to have the
famous salad dressing in Kroger and other local markets.
Another change that Vickers hopes to implement is to increase
Vick’s Pizza’s involvement with fundraisers and community
“The community has treated us so
well… stuck with us through thick and thin… Vick’s Pizza wears
the face of Reynoldsburg.” These reasons and each person who
stepped into the lives of the Vickers family are why they want
to give back and show their appreciation.
explained her desire to stick with this community, tears welled
up in her eyes.
“Looking at this little place, I can see all
the work that so many people have put into it,” said Vickers.
Even as the Vickers family watched
Reynoldsburg develop over the past 50 years, complete with the
additions of numerous pizza places, they knew this was the right
area for them to serve “a lot of people quality food at a fair
Their latest fundraiser is for the
ALS Association, an organization that supports scientific
research to find a cure for the disease often referred to as
“Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” which affects nerves in the brain and
the spinal cord. This was their organization of choice after a
close family friend lost his life to the disease.
Vick’s Pizza donates $1 to the foundation for each 21-inch
Raider pizza that is sold. Vickers says they usually sell around
150 Raiders per week, mostly to families who often buy multiples
and freeze them to eat throughout the week.
To celebrate their upcoming 50th anniversary, Vick’s Pizza, with
the help of other local business owners, will throw a big bash
next June. They will have entertainment, a clown, and most
notably, free pizza and cake. Vickers joked that they would need
to notify Reynoldsburg police before the party to ensure order
once residents learn about the event.
Other than the
commemoration aspect, the shindig will emphasize fundraising.
Multiple nonprofit organizations will be present, such as the
ALS Association, and attendees will be asked to donate what they
“I have learned to put God first in
life, and to succeed you need a purpose,” said Vickers. Her
current purpose is to serve those who have treated her family so
well over the years.
Vickers recalled that she has seen many
new pizza shops start in town, holding the idea that all that is
necessary for their food to be a hit is brand new equipment, but
they are not able to last.
“We never buy
anything new, we buy from auctions,” she said, explaining that
to really be well-liked, a pizza shop needs to show character
and commitment for what they do and be equipped with some mighty
Vick’s has served the “same
product for two generations,” and has been making their sauce
for 25 years.
“No matter if prices rise on
our regular ingredients, we will stay with what we use. You will
always get the same food every time you come,” said Vickers.
The Vickers family hopes they will remain strong for ten more
years, but are unsure what time will bring with it.
“We are so thankful to our community for our success over the
last 50 years.”