Jeff Sabin, owner and food lover of Papa Piccione’s Pizzeria in Kent City, Michigan is a proud sponsor for Kent City High School. The traffic VNN has created for his business as a VNN sponsor has gone through the roof, and he explains why he knew advertising at a local school was the perfect fit for his Pizzeria.
As told to Erika Arora
Papa Piccione’s Pizzeria has been in the same family since 1994. It’s quite the story how I acquired the place. I always used to go to Papa Piccione’s (back then it was under a different name) after school, and one day I decided to leave my number on a napkin for a waitress. She actually decided to call me, and now I’m proud to call her my wife. The restaurant was owned by her father, and eventually I landed a job there myself. I started at the bottom washing dishes at age 16, and worked every position in between until my wife and I bought the restaurant in 2012. All together, I’ve worked here for eight years.
Our role in the community is extremely important to us. We provide a place for the kids to come after school and grab a bite and hang out. We have arcade games here for extra entertainment. I was a wrestling coach at Kent City HS myself, so I know most of the students that walk through here. It’s a very inviting environment, but like I said before, our community matters more than anything to us. Whenever there is a tragedy, we are there to cater or donate. There was once a family facing heavy medical bills, so we donated $2,500 to the family to help cover the expenses. Most of my work goes back to the community.
The reason I decided to advertise with VNN is because of the school. I graduated from Kent City myself, and that’s where I want my child to attend. To me, it’s all about school pride. I wanted to be the number one sponsor to show we’re looking after the kids and the school. Being a student athlete myself, there was never a whole lot of publicity for student athletes, but now with VNN, everything is blowing up and being recognized, and that’s something kids really like to see.
Papa Piccione’s is a family restaurant. We love having kids and families and all members of the community join us for a meal. Our best feature is our stromoli challenge. Our slogan is, “We’re the Home of the Stromboli Challenge”. The challenge is to eat a 5 pound, 2 foot stomboli in 45 minutes. We won Michigan’s Greatest Food Challenger, voted by readers as the state’s best challenge.
My favorite moment in Kent City High history was when senior wrestler Shane Rodenburg made school history by being the first unbeaten wrestler, and also becoming only the second state champion from the school. I’ll admit I might be a little biased because I coached wrestling, but in that moment, I was extremely happy and proud of him.
I really love the people that Varsity News Network is comprised of, but I especially love the traffic it produces. I can physically see how many views the website gets, and VNN tracks everything so I know exactly where my money is going. People care and visit the athletic website, and I’m right on there for everyone to see. I would absolutely recommend other businesses to partner up with VNN and become a sponsor. For one, besides the extra business you’ll get, the fact that you’re donating back to your community is huge. It goes straight back to the student athletes, and that’s my favorite part of the program. My main reason for working with VNN? The payback checks the school receives.
Varsity News Network puts Kent City on the map. It puts Papa Piccione’s Pizzeria on the map. It helps out our student athletes and brings us a lot of business.
Interested in partnering with us to sponsor a school? Visit us here.