Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

December 6, 2012

Business owners making a (pizza) connection

Co-owners who met at pizza place start new business

By Dustin Luca
Staff Writer

---- — When Jeffrey Wise started working at Domino’s Pizza on Park Street more than 20 years ago, he had no idea that he would eventually start a business with two of his then-coworkers.

Now, they are merging their specialties learned in life to run their own pizza place where they first came together.

“We met at this Domino’s Pizza that long ago,” Wise said, referring to the business’ old home at 38 Park St.

Wise first worked at Domino’s as an after-school job. He started off as a driver, then moved up to a management position. He eventually left and worked a number of different jobs.

Joseph O’Leary also started at Domino’s as a driver before eventually taking a job with Verizon. Meanwhile, Ryan O’Leary, not related, went from working at the pizza place to being an area supervisor for several Domino’s locations.

Then came the news that the Park Street-based Domino’s was moving to another nearby location.

“The owner of the building here, he told me that Domino’s was leaving. I’m like, ‘Oh my god, perfect opportunity,’” Wise said. “The timing was right. I contacted my two partners, and they put it together at that point.”

The three are a perfect combination for running a business, according to Wise.

“Ryan’s great at public relations. I’m great with the numbers. Joe’s great with our day-to-day operations,” he said. “No matter what, we complement each other. We all have our niche, you could say.”

Doing business under the corporate name Three Guys Pie Company, the pizza-making trio started Pizza Connection earlier this year, though Wise admits, “we’re a lot more than just pizza.”

“People like the fact that we have such a varied menu. A perfect example would be the fact that we have a pizza called the Big Mac Pizza,” Wise said. “We have items such as a sub called called ‘The Fried Heaven,’ which is actually mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers and french fries.”

Then there’s the Taco Pizza — what you’d be left with if you made a pizza using taco ingredients, including salsa in place of sauce. There’s also Fried Bologna Sandwich, another big hit for area high school and college students.

“The kids are loving those items, loving them, so they’re selling like crazy,” Wise said. “We knew that, coming into town, we had to differentiate ourselves from other places in town.”

Their hours help cater to that audience as well, with its open seven-days-a-week schedule and second shifts making deliveries “until at least midnight.”

Wise’s favorite part of being in business isn’t the zany menu items, however. It’s the fact that he’s back home, making the connection to what originally brought the three together.

“Ryan grew up in this town. I worked in this town for 10 to 12 years altogether,” he said. “All of us feel a connection to the town. It wasn’t just me that wanted to open up in Andover. It was all of us.”

For more on Pizza Connection or to look at the menu, visit www.pizzainaflash.com.