The power of pizza: Toppers delivers jobs, benefits local charities

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The power of pizza: Toppers delivers jobs, benefits local charities

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“We keep the good people of Whitewater fed with good, cheesy food,” Founder and CEO of Toppers Pizza, Scott Gittrich, said of his business’ role in the community.

Gittrich was introduced to the pizza business in 1984 when he started delivering for Domino’s Pizza.

He said when he began to pursue starting his own company, one of his friends suggested he open his first store in Whitewater.

When the first restaurant opened, Gittrich mainly made breadsticks that were covered in a thin layer of cheese. After awhile, these breadsticks became more popular, and costumers made it known they wanted more cheese. This is how “Topperstix” were born.

Not only is the oldest store located here, Toppers Pizza is also currently headquartered in Whitewater.

“We aren’t only a Wisconsin company, we’re a Whitewater company,” Gittrich said.

The company is vital to Whitewater’s economy because it “spring[s] ‘Whitewater recognition’ on the map,” Gittrich said.

Toppers Pizza employs around 50 to 55 people in the city of Whitewater, many of whom are students.

The company is also involved in several charitable organizations, including Bethel House and the Whitewater pantry.

“We never say no to philanthropy groups,” Gittrich said.

Being an alumnus of UW-Whitewater, Gittrich said he is always looking to employ fellow Warhawks. In fact, over half a dozen of Toppers Pizza franchisees are UW-Whitewater alumni.

The year 2012 was a monumental year for Toppers Pizza. The company opened 16 stores and was named one of the fastest growing companies in the restaurant business. The 50th store has also recently been built.

To celebrate this success, the company has launched a social media contest titled “Show Us Your Toppers Face.”

Manager of Marketing and Social Media Bridget Keeler said participants are encouraged to upload a photo of them doing their best “Toppers face” to Toppers Pizza’s Facebook page.

“The photos will be put into a ‘March Madness’ style bracket,” Keeler said. “If you’re chosen, you win a $1,000 Toppers gift card.”

The cover photo of the Facebook page will also change to the winner’s picture.

Submissions need to be made by March 17. The winner will be announced on April 9.

“I’m hoping someone from Whitewater wins,” Keeler said.

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