Regional pizza chain opens third restaurant
A new regional restaurant chain held a soft opening Wednesday for its third outlet, a location tucked into a shopping plaza in Springettsbury Township, York County.
The chain, Willy's Originals Scratch Pizza and Craft Sandwiches, also has locations in Chambersburg and York.
They are owned by entrepreneur Peter Ballantine, who opened the first two locations earlier this year as franchises for Pie Five Pizza. They were converted to the Willy's name in late summer.
The Springettsbury restaurant, in the York Town Center near Route 30, is the first to open only as Willy's. It is designed to serve as a template for future locations in and around Central Pennsylvania, Ballantine said.
"I'm interested in getting these right and growing from there," said Ballantine, a former McDonald's franchisee in the Harrisburg area.
He embarked on his own chain out of a desire to have more flexibility in crafting the menu and selecting ingredients, he said. Willy's procures soup from a Harrisburg company and craft soda from Harrisburg-based Appalachian Brewing Co.
"And there's something to be said for regional taste," said Ballantine.
Willy's makes a variety of pizzas and sandwiches to order.
During the restaurant's soft opening on Wednesday, Ballantine spoke to students from Penn State York about his experiences as an entrepreneur. The students were visiting as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week.
He discussed everything from dealing with bankers to dealing with rejection.
In addition to founding Willy's, Ballantine also owns a commercial kitchen maintenance and repair company called OnPoint.