House of Pizza: The ‘American Dream’ is now 30
This is a short story of an “American Dream.”
At the age of 17, a young Mark Rigas left his homeland of Greece and set off with nothing more than determination and hunger to succeed in building a new life.
From building sewing machines for Singer, to late nights cooking in good ol’ New Jersey diners, to even bouncing outside New York City nightclubs, he did it all without complaining of long hours, without even knowing the English language.
Our father, like many immigrants, came to this country passionate about the land of the free and home of the brave. He wanted to be a part of that and to make his mark in the land of opportunity.
Later, on a trip visiting his homeland, he met the young and beautiful Giannoula. They fell in love and she followed him back to the states. After starting a family, the young couple and, at the time, two kids moved to the wonderful state of Maine. Through trial and tribulation, they ended up in the picturesque coastal town of Boothbay Harbor.
On March 7, 1993, their “American Dream” was born. This week marks 30 memorable years of the House of Pizza. Thirty years of endless hard work, 30 years of loyal customers that we call family, 30 years of laughter and tears, and 30 years of this loving community we call home.
My siblings and I are so proud of our parents. The overcame leaving their families, their home, with little to nothing and built something from scratch that we can proudly say still stands today due to their hard work, sacrifice, and the support of the community.
We would like to thank the wonderful people of this town for standing by us through the good times and the difficult ones as well. Although she is not here physically to witness this milestone, we know our beautiful Mama is watching over us and we feel her presence as many others do walking into the pizzeria every day.
Our father at the fine age of 65 still goes into work every morning to make his fresh pizza dough from scratch. His favorite joke til this day is “Maybe one day when I grow up I’ll be a cook!”
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