The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

April 16, 2012

Conneaut generates lots of dough

Annual pizza contest mushrooms as people pick their favorites

CONNEAUT —  Victory isn’t just sweet, it’s delicious.

Isabella Anthony, 9, grabbed the sparkling silver trophy — judge’s choice — at the best of Conneaut pizza competition 2012, and gave it a hug.

Delicious, delicious victory.

Isabella’s father, Gordi Anthony, made some prize-wining pizza pies at GiaBella’s Pizza — pies good enough for the top honor.

Five area pizzeria’s — GiaBella’s, Pizzi’s, Bridge Street Pizza, Pizza Hut and JD’s Pizza, all vied for the top title on Sunday at the Conneaut Human Resources Center.

“Everybody loves pizza,” event coordinator Debby Tisdale said. “That makes this event a lot of fun from the first slice.”

The pizza competition raised $2,200 last year for the Conneaut Music Boosters and the Conneaut Human Resource Center.

“We can’t thank the pizzerias’ enough for participating,” Tisdale said. “They get to come out and promote their businesses, show off their pizzas and we all get to eat.”

Pizza Hut took the kids’ choice award, GiaBella’s won best pizza and best sauce, Bridge Street Pizza won for best specialty pizza and the people’s choice award.

A blindfolded Russ Coltman taste tested each slice as a judge and said he had a hard time choosing a winner.

“We have some really, really good pizzerias in this area,” he said. “I am a foodie, so I appreciate a good pizza.”

Peyton Marcy, 7, said she loves GiaBella’s pizza.

“I don’t get to eat that much pizza,” she said, “but I love the pepperoni.”

Michael Morgan, owner of JD’s Pizza, said he is nervous all the way up until the winner is announced. Morgan took the top prize  in the competition in 2011.

“I put in a million hours and a lot of heart in what I do. Making pizza is my only gift. But standing here waiting for the results, I am a nervous wreck. My guts are in a knot,” he said.

Gordi Anthony may have made the pizza, but he barely got to touch the gleaming silver trophy on Sunday as Isabella clung to the accomplishment.

“My family works hard to make great pizza,” Isabella said. “My dad works really hard.”

Anthony said he won’t pick a favorite from his own menu.

“Which pizza is the best?” he said. “They are all the best. I wouldn’t put my name on them if they weren’t the best.”

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