Folks who visited the original Fox’s Den Pizzas 40 years ago will find many of the same things today. The family owned and operated company still makes authentic Italian pizzas using hand-tossed dough topped with a proprietary and award-winning pizza sauce. Among its ingredients, the company still boasts San Marzano-style grown tomatoes, and a freshly grated Italian Pecorino Romano cheese from the rugged Apennine mountains of Central Italy blended with a special grade of Italian extra virgin olive oil. When it comes to the menu, the same standards set decades ago remains today. In fact, the only major thing about the company that has changed is its size. 

Fox’s Den Pizza has 300 franchises located across the country. When it comes to its transportation, distribution and logistics, the company uses a mix of in-house personnel and third-party partners to get ingredients to the right locations at the right times. General Manager Jeff Holsing says the company’s growth has caused some shifts in the corporate infrastructure

Eat’n Park Hospitality Group Inc. is in business to please people through its portfolio of regional foodservice concepts that focus on personalized dining.

The Homestead, Pa.-based company began as a single drive-in restaurant with carhops in Pittsburgh in 1949. Today, the 65-year-old company manages seven different restaurant companies and serves more than 50 million guests every year. Eat’n Park Hospitality Group states that people are its common focus throughout each branch of the organization. 

Some restaurants aim for the casual-dining format, and others fit in the take-out category. Dion’s Pizza has found success by being in between both, CEO Mark Herman says. “We are kind of the best of both worlds,” he declares.

Based in Albuquerque, N.M., Dion’s Pizza operates 19 locations in New Mexico, Texas and Colorado that specialize in pizza, submarine sandwiches and salads. Founders Jon Patten and Bill Scott started the company in 1978.

The two men were friends who moved from Michigan to Albuquerque with the plan of opening a Greek restaurant. After buying a space that formerly served pizza, Patten and Scott had the perfect name for their Greek restaurant, “Dionysus,” after a god in Greek mythology.

Located in Valle de Parras – a small but fertile region of the Sierra Madre Oriental Mountains – is the oldest winery of the Americas: Casa Madero. It is 416 years old with a rich history and a unique story. With 454 medals, this historical treasure also is the most-decorated winery in Mexico. Fifth-generation descendant Daniel Milmo is proud to be co-director and head of the commercial department for a business that is 100 percent family owned and 100 percent Mexican.   

“Being the oldest winery in the Americas is a unique story that makes me feel very proud to lead its strategic direction,” Milmo states. “I do believe it has much potential. It has a history so rich and unique, but it has also been highly recognized, and the amount of awards we’ve received is something that also makes me proud. The culture of wine is just beginning here so I do believe we have many, many more years.”

For Papa John’s, it’s all about the quality. Offering fresh and tasty ingredients distinguishes it from others in a crowded pizza market, the company says. “We have better ingredients, better pizza. That really is what we are all about,” says Tony Thompson, president and COO.

Sometimes big ideas have modest beginnings, and the Seacrets entertainment complex of five summertime dining areas, 19 bars, six entertainment stages, a hotel and a radio station literally grew out of the home of founder Leighton Moore. That home is still in the complex of buildings that make up Seacrets on the bayfront, which brings a lot of Jamaica to Ocean City, Md., year-round, but especially in the summertime.

MTR Gaming Group owns and operates three casinos in the very competitive gaming markets of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. Besides gambling, and to complement it, MTR Properties offers a variety of other enjoyable features that significantly add value and fun to the guest experience – the most important of which are food and drink. In fact, the value and variety of food beverage offerings at a casino play a critical role in packing customers in, day after day. 

Is it better to be a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond? Granite City Food & Brewery, currently swimming in 30 ponds, is now opening eateries in larger ponds as part of its expansion plan. 

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