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Owner: Real estate issue forces closure of Willy’s location in York

Peter Ballantine, right, talks about his experiences as a business owner and entrepreneur in front of students from Penn State York. The students attended the soft opening of the third restaurant in his new restaurant chain in November, Willy's Originals Scratch Pizza and Craft Sandwiches. - (Photo / Joel Berg)

Less than a year after it opened, local pizza chain Willy’s Originals was forced to close its Loucks Road location in York due to what its owner described as an unforeseen “commercial real estate issue.”

According to a statement from owner Peter Ballantine, the issue arose in late December and “is a confluence of events unrelated to the success of our locations, quality of our product, and service to our customers.”

“One of the biggest challenges for small business owners to surmount is navigating contracts with larger, better funded companies,” continued the statement, “such as franchisors or large lessors.”

No further information was available from Ballantine regarding the closure.

Ballantine, a former McDonald’s franchisee, signed a deal with Pie Five Pizza to open locations across Pennsylvania and Ohio but began operating them under the name Willy’s Originals Scratch Pizza and Craft Sandwiches last summer .

The Loucks Road location was the second of three locations opened by the Italian-American food chain in the last year, which has one location in Springettsbury Township, York County and another in Chambersburg. The restaurants offer soup, sandwiches and pizza made-to-order.

Ballantine is also the owner of OnPoint – formerly 4 Points Food Service Technologies Inc. – a commercial kitchen maintenance and repair service based in Harrisburg.  

 

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