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35 Years of Willington Pizza

Pizza sales include donations from August 1 - 31, 2013
Special dates: August 5 and 19

WILLINGTON, CT, June 19, 2013 - Willington Pizza, the restaurant that made Willington famous, will turn 35 in August 2013. Willington Pizza has won national awards for originating the Red Potato and Seafood Casino Pizzas. It is consistently chosen as one of the top pizza places in Connecticut. It is a favorite of students at UCONN in nearby Storrs, and returning alumni from around the country always stop back for the unique taste they experienced during their college days.

Jeff Kelly, owner and president, has special plans to celebrate Willington’s 35th birthday. From August 1-31, 2013, every large designer pizza ordered will include a $3.50 contribution to Hockanum Valley Community Council (HVCC). HVCC provides food to 900 families per month in the Vernon/Tolland region. The HVCC operates a food pantry, a thrift store called Good Cents, Dial-A-Ride, elder services and counseling. On Monday, August 5 and Monday, August 19, 10 percent of all sales will go to Hockanum. In addition, during August, Willington Pizza will hold a food drive, so folks are invited to bring nonperishables when they come for their pizza.

“The demand for food from our pantry has more than doubled over the past four years, going from 2,500 food items per week to more than 6,000 food items per week,” said David Engelson, CEO of HVCC, a retired school principal. “People don’t realize how widespread local hunger is. Sometimes I see former students coming in for food - it breaks my heart.” Helping people through HVCC is his passion, says Engelson, who has served as Executive Director/CEO for 12 years.

“The need is especially great for children during the summer when school is out and school breakfasts and lunches are not available. This contribution by Jeff  Kelly and Willington Pizza will be a tremendous help to HVCC at a time that is desperate for many local people,” he added.

“According to “The New York Times” (June 2, 2013), one in six Americans lives in poverty. The need is not distant - it’s here, among our neighbors and friends. We have been fortunate, and we want to help by sharing locally during our celebration,” said Kelly. Actually, sharing is not new to Willington Pizza, which annually sponsors more than 50 local causes from sports teams to free dinner for 100 Relay for Life participants to Project Graduations. See the full list!
Willington Pizza’s success is the result of outstanding food, hard work, and a great owner and staff. The dough is unique. It is made fresh daily and hand-stretched for each pizza, the crust is chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside, and each pizza is loaded generously with high quality toppings. Some examples here. While “Pizza’ is in the name of the place, a wide array of quality American dishes are available at this family-oriented restaurant, including gourmet salads, entrees, sandwiches and desserts. You’ll also find gluten-free pizzas and gluten-free beer and sodas at the original Willington Pizza House on Route 32.

Thirty-five years ago, Willington Pizza opened as a 12-seat, take-out operation. Since then, Willington Pizza has grown to serve more than 200 in its original location in an old house filled with collectibles at 25 River Road (Route 32). It has also added Willington Pizza, Too, at 11 Phelps Way on Route 74, which has a sports atmosphere and offers wings and burgers. See their menu here Kelly purchased the original 12-seat place after he lost his bartending job when the roof of the Hartford Civic Center collapsed due to heavy snow. He is a graduate of  Southern Connecticut State University’s physical education program.

Willington Pizza has been selected as one of the Top 100 Independent Pizza Restaurants in the U.S. by “Pizza Today,” the industry leading publication. It has received national coverage in “The New York Times,” “Good Morning America,” and “CBS This Morning,” as well as on NBC 30’s “The Feast” with Jason Hawkins, WFSB TV 3 with Scot Haney, “Connecticut Magazine,” “The Hartford Courant,” and “The Daily Campus” where UCONN students annually vote Willington as their favorite pizza place. See some of their awards and segments here.


Jeff Kelly, President WPH
Marc Amtower, General Manager, WPH
Rich Rogers, Chef WPH
John Prandy, General Manager, WP Too

Willington Pizza House
25 River Road (RTE. 32)
Willington, CT 06279

Willington Pizza Too
11 Phelps Way
Willington, CT 06279

David Engleson, CEO 
(860) 872-7727



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