GREENVILLE — With Super Bowl Sunday fast approaching this weekend, it is estimated that Americans will consume their “fan favorite” snacks with gusto: 1.25 billion chicken wings, 28 million pounds of chips, and 8 million pounds of guacamole will be consumed during this three-plus-hour football extravaganza of sport, entertainment, and commercials.
More than half of the 12.5 million pizzas eaten during Sunday’s game will be ordered before kick-off, with 36 percent being pepperoni with cheese. When the trophy is passed down and the work week starts afresh, Americans of all ages will have one more glorious opportunity to celebrate their favorite fan food on National Pizza Day, which happens Feb. 9.
The word “pizza” is believed to be derived from an old Italian word pizzicare, which means to pinch or pluck. Pizza’s true origin story begins in Naples, first founded around 600 B.C, both as Greek settlement, and later as a Roman port city. Early pizzas were often flat breads with a variety of garnishes (tomatoes, basil, olive oil, garlic, cheese and anchovies), and often sold by street vendors and in small, casual taverns, with Naples’ original pizzeria, the Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba, first opening as a peddler stand (the original “drive-thru”) in 1738, and later as a pizzeria restaurant in 1830, which is still a family-owned operation today.
As millions of immigrants once came through Ellis Island in the late 19th and early 20th centuries seeking factory work in large cities such as New York, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, and St. Louis (among others), natives arriving from Naples brought with them delicious ‘Old World’ culinary traditions, including that of expert pizza-making. After World War II, as Italian-American culture expanded across America, pizza’s popularity boomed, and within a few short decades, a new “American favorite food” was born. Today, over 94 percent of Americans eat pizza at least once per month, with the average man or woman eating around 46 slices per year.
Darke County is blessed to have many outstanding “signature” eateries throughout its four corners, celebrating its own unique blend of traditions and cultures. One of these close to home is Teaford’s Pizza & Subs, located at 101 Pine Street, in Greenville. Originally established by Milo Teaford as “Teaford’s Dairy Store” in the 1930s, it moved to its current location in the 1940s, and remained until the Teaford family sold the business in 1998 to new owners, who incorporated the Teaford name into the new business. When current owner, Aaron Keaser, purchased Teaford’s in 2018 from his stepmother, Marge, and father, Terry, he envisioned the quaint pizza and sub hub becoming a tourist staple in the Greenville community, in the tradition of time-honored local shops like Maid-Rite and others.
“While the Teaford name was not originally at this location, it has spent almost all of its existence here, which is why it is important that ‘Teaford’s’ remains on the building. It is a historical feature of Greenville, and many generations are aware of the name,” explained Keaser.“My true desire for the ‘pizza shop’ is sparked from my work ethic, education in business, and my vision of making Teaford’s a household name. Greenville is not a big city by any means, but it is big enough that without proper advertising, a gem can remain hidden within its streets.”
Keaser credits his stepmother and father with teaching him the trade secrets of making great pizzas, blending different flavors and ingredients to create specialty pizzas, wings, and subs.
“Any pizza outside of your standard one, two, or three topping pizza can be considered a specialty pizza. Same can be said with the subs once you move away from your basic ham and cheese, or turkey and bacon,” said Keaser. “You’ll find that this ‘pizza shop’ is far from ‘normal.’ Almost every pizza pie or sub we bake up is custom or a specialty.”
When asked what signature entrees customers should sample from the menu, Keaser recommends the Teaford’s Super Deluxe Pizza and the Teaford’s Sub Deluxe.
“You will not find another pie or sandwich around that are so full, and fill you up fast!” said Keaser.
Keaser and his staff welcome residents to come in, say “Hello,” and experience the delicious menu offerings, which are always available on the Teaford’s Pizza & Subs Facebook page, along with news, updates and promotions. No matter what the occasion, pre-orders are always welcome, especially on Fridays, Saturdays and holidays, with delivery available for a 10-mile radius from the shop. Hours are Tues. (4 to 8 p.m.) Weds.,Thurs. (3 to 8 p.m.), Fri., Sat., and Sun. (1 to 8 p.m.). Stop in or call 937-547-9383, or visit online at www.facebook.com/teafordspizza/