While Tom Brady and Russell Wilson threw footballs in Arizona to warm up for Super Bowl XLIX, Joe Suhy tossed pizza dough to prepare others for the game.
Suhy was one of more than 20 employees working at Pizza Mia on what co-owner John Jennings said is one of the establishment’s busiest days of the year. The staff there works toward constant improvement and Super Bowl Sunday is a reflection of that process, he said
“We’re used to this volume, but what makes it special is, it’s the Super Bowl, and we prepare for this all year,” Jennings said. “It’s like our Super Bowl too.”
The atmosphere had the air of an assembly line as the orders came in. After Suhy tossed the dough and applied the sauce, Jerry Weaver applied cheese and toppings to each pie. For Weaver, who has been preparing pizza since 1984, busy days like the Super Bowl are fun, as long as everyone keeps up.
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“It runs pretty smoothly,” he said.
By 5:30 p.m., he said he assisted in making close to 600 pizzas.
From there, pizzas went to the oven. Others folded boxes in preparation for future orders, prepared items for delivery or made other foods, like wings and subs.
Delivery drivers like Daron Aukerman, of Bellefonte, were also working to take food to customers. Aukerman ate at the restaurant with his family before starting Sunday night. He said he didn’t mind the weather or the number of trips.
“People don’t want to go out,” Aukerman said. “That’s good for the business and good for the drivers.”
Aukerman, a Marine veteran, said he likes the faster pace of busier days and the teamwork that goes along with getting the food out quickly.
The weather did not deter other patrons from driving to pick up their orders before game time. Tim Spangler, of Bellefonte, came to pick up wings and pizza for a family gathering.
“I’m hungry,” he said. “It’s football.”