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JCU alumnus builds on a passion for pizza

October 17th, 2013

John Carroll University graduate Greg Kissel is serving up a big slice of success. Owner of the popular Guys Pizza, Kissel played football for JCU and graduated in 2000 with a degree in business management.

“I worked at a pizza place all through high school and college. I just liked it. I’ve always wanted to open up my own place,” said Kissel. “After I graduated, my friend and I decided we would open up our own restaurant.”

Kissel and the co-owner of Guy’s Pizza, Ohio State alumnus Ben Ziska, opened up their first location in Euclid in 2002. Two more locations were quick to follow: one in Kent and one in Cleveland Heights. Now, Guys Pizza has 19 locations in the greater Cleveland and surrounding area. The closest of these to JCU is on Coventry, where Guys Pizza has been located for the past eight years.

“I wanted to open a place that would be different,” said Kissel. “You know, unique. I wanted a lot of variety in the menu. I didn’t want us to be like everyone else out there.”

Kissel said his favorite pizza is pepperoni and mushroom, but patrons can order pizzas covered in anything from gyro meat and artichoke hearts to bacon and banana peppers.

In addition to pizza, Guys also serves wings, subs, wraps and salads. They recently added burgers to their menu, which have instantly become a huge success.

“Burgers are our second best seller, right after pizza,” Kissel said. “Everyone loves them.”

Kissel attributes his success in the community to the support he has received from the JCU community. According to Kissel, the location at Coventry has experienced a lot of growth in the past five years.

“A big component of our success comes from John Carroll kids,” he said. “Our location at Coventry is always our busiest because it’s so close to the University. When I was in college, Coventry was always the place to be, so it’s awesome to have a location there.”

Guys Pizza is open until 2 a.m. most nights to coincide with late night study sessions. There are also weekly discounts and specials for college students.

In order to be even more convenient and readily available, Guys recently embraced online ordering. Now hungry customers can either pick up the phone or log in online to get their pizza delivered. Students simply sign up or log in, select a location, and from there they can choose from different sizes, crusts and toppings and can have their pizza delivered directly to their residence hall.

Not only can fans of Guys order pizza online, but there is an app for that as well. Users can browse menus, search for locations and even place an order, all from their smart phone or tablet. The app can be downloaded for free and can be found in the app store under “Guys Pizza.”