Hillside Pizza has record-breaking year in sales, despite closing Hadley location

Craig White of Hillside Pizza in Bernardston with Lt. Paul Leslie of the Greenfield Salvation Army and his daughter Abigail with donated pizzas for community meals.

Craig White of Hillside Pizza in Bernardston with Lt. Paul Leslie of the Greenfield Salvation Army and his daughter Abigail with donated pizzas for community meals. CONTRIBUTED/HILLSIDE PIZZA

Abby Wozniak, her sister Amber Wozniak, Amy White and Vanessa Crowningsheild of Hillside Pizza in Bernardston have been serving community meals and are asking for donations.

Abby Wozniak, her sister Amber Wozniak, Amy White and Vanessa Crowningsheild of Hillside Pizza in Bernardston have been serving community meals and are asking for donations. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Craig White of Hillside Pizza in Bernardston.

Craig White of Hillside Pizza in Bernardston. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Hillside Pizza in Bernardston.

Hillside Pizza in Bernardston. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Amy and Craig White of Hillside Pizza in Bernardston.

Amy and Craig White of Hillside Pizza in Bernardston. CONTRIBUTED/HILLSIDE PIZZA

Millie Jacoby with a personal pizza at the Deerfield location of Hillside Pizza at the Yankee Candle store.

Millie Jacoby with a personal pizza at the Deerfield location of Hillside Pizza at the Yankee Candle store. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

By GRACE LEE

For the Recorder

Published: 02-22-2024 11:47 AM

Modified: 02-22-2024 12:05 PM


The return of the Super Bowl marked a record-breaking year in sales and fundraising efforts for Hillside Pizza, despite closing the doors at its 15-year-old Hadley location.

With employee shortages and rising supply costs, many restaurants have struggled to navigate the post-pandemic labor markets, as Amy White, co-owner and co-founder of Hillside Pizza, described. Ongoing construction on Route 9 and staffing issues “made it challenging [to keep the Hadley branch] and so we just consolidated,” White said.

But closing one storefront has not negatively impacted or forced owners Amy and Craig White to change any other aspect of their business at the other two branches in Bernardston and South Deerfield. Any employee from the Hadley branch that wanted to stay on board was transferred to South Deerfield, and White said she’s seen their loyal customer base from Hadley also making the switch over.

Hillside Pizza has also been able to continue the programs it runs alongside its storefront businesses, such as school fundraising efforts and the philanthropic community meals program through the Greenfield Salvation Army.

Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, Amy and Craig White have donated catered meals each week to support residents who have been negatively impacted by the pandemic. They recently hit a milestone of 25,000 meals donated.

“That [number] was never in our sights at the beginning,” White said. “We’re providing dignity … as well as just food itself, and that’s really important to us.”

White mentioned a recently launched fundraising campaign through Fundly to help continue the weekly tradition of donated meals, which can cost an average of $3 per plate. The campaign can be viewed at fundly.com/hillside-pizza-meals-for-neighbors.

“We can’t do it alone, and so we really need help to run the race,” which is the mission of the campaign, White said.

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Founded in 2001, Hillside Pizza began as a food catering business through which kids could raise money for their schools. After 23 years, Hillside Pizza has retained this aspect of its business, and had its most successful fundraising year with the conclusion of the 2024 Super Bowl.

“Let’s say the French club is going on a trip,” White gave an example of their fundraising structure. “We will sell out pizzas and then offer a much greater [profit] margin than most other fundraising programs out there.

“[The students] will typically gear their sales toward the weeks before the Super Bowl,” White added.

JFK Middle School of Northampton might typically sell around 150 orders of pizza or cookie dough every Super Bowl. But this year, according to White, they sold 760.

White also briefly noted the rise in supply and ingredient prices, which has caused Hillside Pizza to increase its prices slightly.

“We haven’t changed the quality of our ingredients,” White said, “and we won’t.”