Since 1979, It's more than just pizza. It's our legacy.
What began as a family grocery store in 1966 grew into one of Groveport's favorite family restaurants, Little Italy Ristorante. On September 4th, 1966 Chuck and Janet Ward purchased "Smith's Home Market" and renamed it "Chuck's Little Giant". The Little Giant provided hand-cut butcher selections, fresh produce, pantry, household items, and was a staple of downtown Groveport. As the business grew, Chuck and Janet raised their family in the home next to the grocery store. This mix of work, friends, and family helped define the distinctive culture of what is now Little Italy.
Chuck and Janet ventured into the pizza business when offered to purchase a neighboring business one block east of the grocery store. Not knowing much about the pizza business, Chuck and Janet built a longstanding relationship with the community in the grocery store operating on a set of core values that they used for operating the pizza shop. To make the best pizza, hire great people, and give back to the community.
By the early 1980s, supermarkets were pushing Chucks Little Giant out of business. The newfound pizza shop was doing so well they decided to close Chucks Little Giant and move the pizza shop into the grocery stores building. That was when son Nick Ward took over from his parents and put the business on a new path for growth. Expanding into dine-in and catering Nick grew the pizza operation using the same set of core values instilled by his parents which helped further grow a strong connection with the community.
Today, our company remains a favorite in Groveport and beyond. Working with his son, Little Italy Ristorante CEO Avery Ward, Nick remains a guiding influence at the company, and his values passed down from his parents continue to shape everything we do - from our family recipe, scratch-made pastas, meatballs, dressings, sauces to the way we treat our associates like family - and especially the way we always strive to give back to our community.
When you think about it, pizza is all about bringing people together. The real fun happens when it's shared by many - that moment when the pizza is placed on the table and eager hands appear from every direction to help themselves.