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Woodstock’s Pizza

It was 1977 when Chuck Woodstock opened the first Woodstock’s Pizza near Oregon State in Corvallis, Oregon.

His goal was to create a fun, student-oriented pizzeria that dished up amazing pies using his grandmother’s marinara recipe. From the beginning he focused on fresh, hand-tossed dough with a unique folded-over crust with sauce inside. He insisted on putting more toppings on the pizza than any of his competitors, so customers get a taste of every topping in each bite.

He quickly gained a loyal following, and partnered with Mike Chew in 1980 to build their next restaurant in San Luis Obispo.

Meanwhile back in Corvallis, Jeff Ambrose was a recent college grad without a full-time job.  Delivering pizzas seemed like a good way to keep from starving. But it turned out to be much more than he expected —

In 1982, Chuck and Chew (as Mike was called) asked Jeff to help open a new Woodstock’s in Isla Vista (Santa Barbara). Chico came next. Then Chuck and Chew partnered with Jeff to open a store near SDSU. Meanwhile, they worked on a new restaurant in Davis.

Sadly, Chuck and Chew passed away in a private plane crash in 1985, leaving the company in the hands of their family members. Eventually the families promoted Jeff to President of the company. In 2001, Jeff and his wife, Laura, purchased all five California restaurants.  (The original Corvallis restaurant is solely owned by Chuck’s wife, Carol Lee Woodstock.)

Since that time, they have added two new restaurants, in Santa Cruz and in Pacific Beach.

Woodstock’s has an employee stock ownership plan and encourages all managers to become owners. The company is currently ranked #3 among independent pizzerias nationwide. True to Chuck’s legacy, they are still committed to offering the highest quality ingredients, making dough fresh daily in-house, keeping their signature sauce a secret, and working hard to create loyal customers and team members, while having fun in the process.

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