YORK, Pa., Nov. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The road to entrepreneurship is full of challenges, but restaurateur Peter Ballantine helped college students at The Graham Center of Entrepreneurial Leadership Studies Penn State York shorten their learning curves by hosting an "Entrepreneur Roundtable" at Willy's Originals Scratch Pizza and Craft Sandwiches on 2813 Concord Road, York Town Center, in York, Pa., on November 15 over lunch.
College students, faculty members, York Chamber of Commerce leaders, PA Department of Community and Economic Development executives, Penn State THON leaders, and the Four Diamonds joined entrepreneur Peter Ballantine for a conversation. The York Town Center restaurant, Willy's third in central Pennsylvania, officially opened to the public on November 16.
Celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week and the launch of his newest restaurant in York, Ballantine shared an insider's look at his path to business ownership, his passion for making a difference in the community, the value of providing locally sourced food, and his drive to make sure every guest at Willy's Originals experiences a sense of family.
"At Willy's Originals, our mission is to make every guest feel like 'You've come home!' We serve the freshest, made-from-scratch foods in an inviting, fast-casual atmosphere. Our customized, homemade pizzas and handcrafted sandwiches and folds, served alongside classic homemade soups and hand-tossed salads are customer-inspired," said Ballantine.
"I love what a restaurant does for a community—we're a gathering place. You can change someone's day with great food, a conversation, and a smile. Penn State's GEW focuses on 'Start Something Here,' and I was honored to share my experiences of starting something in York and presenting our roundtable as a first gesture of hospitality to the community," said Ballantine.
Students and business leaders joined Ballantine around the restaurant's Community Table to learn about the inspiration behind Willy's Originals, the challenges and joys of business ownership, the value of job creation, and keeping the pulse on food and fast-casual trends. One of those trends is customization.
"The flour for our folds and pizzas is '00' quality and is sourced from Italy. Our proprietary dough is made from scratch at least twice a day and is a focal point of our restaurant. We focus on incredibly good-tasting food for the whole family, and then create the best restaurant environment to serve it in," said Ballantine.
"Learning happens in many different places. If we want to empower and teach aspiring entrepreneurs, we need to present our students with experiences that expose them to entrepreneurial thinking and actions. Learning from entrepreneurs—their failures and successes—enhances what they are learning in the classroom," said Jody Keller, Executive-in-Residence, The Graham Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership Studies.
In addition to business insights and connections, Ballantine provided lunch, and guests enjoyed their own Willy's Originals freshly made pizza, fold, soup, and sandwich experience.
Willy's Originals is open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 9 p.m. Deeply committed to buying local, Willy's has partnered with Appalachian Brewing Company for their craft sodas. The new location provides 20-30 jobs at the York Town Center with room for growth.
A strong community champion, Willy's Originals is a supporter of Penn State THON, the Four Diamonds, Breast Cancer Awareness, and U.S. veterans and active-duty military. "Our mission is to help strengthen our community by offering the highest-quality homemade food and supporting the organizations that our employees and customers are passionate about," said Ballantine.
WILLY'S ORIGINALS SCRATCH PIZZA AND CRAFT SANDWICHES
We have a simple goal: to deliver great homemade food that's customizable any way you want it in a friendly and fun environment with a hint of nostalgia. Our homemade pizzas and handcrafted sandwiches and folds, served alongside classic homemade soups and hand-tossed salads, are customer-inspired with locally sourced ingredients. At Willy's Originals, you'll feel like you've come home when you step inside the door. Founded in 2017, Willy's Originals has three locations in central Pennsylvania. To order and see the menu, visit http://willysscratchandcraft.com. Find Willy's on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Anne Deeter Gallaher
SOURCE Willy’s Originals Scratch Pizza and Craft Sandwiches