Seven years ago when Andy’s Hometowne Pizza opened in Albertville, founder Andy Thompson invited Greg Snodgrass to come onboard with him. At the time Greg declined, “I helped Andy then to get up and running, and also worked as the general manager at Russell’s on the Lake in Big Lake.” Fast forward to December 2018 – Andy reached out again, stated he heard about a pizza place going up for sale in Medina and asked if Greg was ready to start his own business. Greg pauses and smiles as he reflects, “No, but it was too good to pass up, so I did it!”
When asked how Andy’s Hometowne Pizza, formerly 3121 Pizza, is different from other pizza restaurants, Greg answers, “I strive to provide great service. We don’t have a mass produced product, when we’re busy, it’s going to take awhile, but the quality is better. Our business is family-owned and operated, we care, we aren’t a chain. Our ingredients are always fresh, we even make our own dough so the dough is freshly made that day, not frozen. In our business overview, we are dedicated to fresh going out daily, and we want it perfect. If it’s not, and obviously no one is perfect, but if it isn’t up to our standards, it won’t go out.”
When it comes to staffing, Andy’s Hometowne Pizza has a unique outlook. “I encourage 15, 16, and 17 year olds to let us be your first job,” Greg said. “Ours is a family business, we treat you as a person, not a number. We can help give you working – and life – experience. I invest a lot into our staff. Everyone makes mistakes, we work on finding the solutions together.” The earning potential is better than most entry level jobs. “All my insiders have an opportunity to make tips every day by providing great service. We have an extensive system of tracking the tips and time worked so each person receive their fair share.” Most of Andy’s Hometowne Pizza employees come as a referral from another employee. “We have friends and siblings who come as a result of their friend or sister/brother telling them, ‘Come work with us, we have fun!’”
In addition to teaching his young workers the ins and outs of running a business and working with customers, Greg emphasized how important it is that he and everyone at Andy’s Hometowne Pizza be involved and a part of the community. “We hosted a fundraiser for the Hamel Volunteer Fire Department on Monday, September 23. That day my entire staff were talking to each other, and they came to me and said, ‘We’re working, but we’re not punching in because we want to give back.’ Not one employee got paid that night, it was completely their idea to donate all of their time. The fire department received 25% of sales and received all the tips plus the delivery fees. People loved seeing the firefighters delivering the pizzas in the fire trucks! All together we raised $3401.85.
“It was a crazy night, we ended taking orders at 6:00 because we couldn’t handle anymore!” Greg exclaimed. “We plan to do it again next year and every year on the first Monday after Medina Celebration Day. I was a volunteer firefighter for 11 years, I understand how tight money is, but I was surprised at the outpouring of community support. Our Albertville location has been doing this same fundraiser for seven years, and the Medina location almost beat their donation number in our first year! People ordered more and tipped better that night, from the start time at 4:00, we were at ticket 98 by 6:00, so the firefighters were at 90+ deliveries by that time!” In addition to being a loyal customer on a regular business, Justin and Krista Morneau topped the individual list of contributors for the evening. “It does take a village,” Greg commented, “and people like the Morneaus make the community even better.”
Andy’s Hometowne Pizza offers its product to area schools and non-profits to sell frozen pizzas as a fundraiser. “Either the kids can presell the pizzas and then deliver them later, or we can bring the truck to the local neighborhoods and the kids can sell door to door and drop them off right then on the spot. The frozen pizzas are identical to what we sell here at the restaurant. It works out really well actually, they can make a lot of money really quick.”
In addition to the Hamel Volunteer Fire Department, other area nonprofits that Andy’s Hometowne Pizza has helped with fundraising include:
Wayzata Youth Hockey
Wayzata Mouth Guard event
Northwoods Elementary Fun Run
When you set foot inside the restaurant, you can’t miss the WALL OF FAME. “It’s for our 30 inch Monster Challenge. To participate you can have up to three people, and a 30” pizza with at least one topping. If you can eat it within one hour, your group photo will go up on our Wall of Fame and we will buy your pizza. If you aren’t able to finish it, your photo goes up on our Wall of Shame and you have to buy it. One group of construction workers finished in a record 24 minutes. It’s fun!” The challenge has even taken place outside of their restaurant. “When we did the Medina Celebration Day Parade, we had two teams compete right on the float. Another time we delivered two monster pizzas to the Fields of Medina neighborhood’s Olympics as one of the events where the east side challenged the west. We’ve also had groups of friends come into the restaurant too and challenge not only eating the monster pizza but to see what team can finish it first. We had a wedding party that ordered nine monster pizzas to be delivered for their late night snack.
“Our menu hasn’t changed from the Albertville location, but we have added french fries, mini-donuts, and our meatball sandwiches have been popular. For the winter we plan to add soups to the menu.” When asked his favorite pizza, Greg says, “I do enjoy Andy’s Fully Loaded, although I do change it up.”
With our long Minnesota winters, it’s great to have the option to have a tasty hot meal delivered right to your front door.
Andy’s Hometowne Pizza
212 Clydesdale Trail
Medina, MN 55340