LEIPSIC — Mike Potthoff said he always makes his pizzas like he is making them for his grandmother, a blue-ribbon winner cook.“I would want her to think I had baked the best pizza possible,” said the manager of the Leipsic Pizzeria. He claims his pizzas are even better than the ones made by the owners of Pizzeria, Curt and Brent Shafer. “Of course they may dispute that,” he admits.Potthoff began working at Pizzeria in Ottawa in May 1994. “I was just a sophomore in high school,” he said. “At the time we were taught to do every job. I still think that’s important to teach.” Except for taking a few breaks Potthoff continued working at Pizzeria including working weekends while in college.Potthoff was already working at the Ottawa Pizzeria full time before the Leipsic business opened in 2000. “When they offered me the manager duties at the Leipsic location, I jumped at the chance,” Potthoff said. His duties include ordering supplies, hiring and training employees and overseeing the overall operation of the Leipsic Pizzeria.“It can get stressful when we’re busy, but I like to stay upbeat with the customers and employees when this happens,” he said.Potthoff takes pride in training his employees.“It’s important they learn how to make a consistent pizza and to do the job right,” he said. “For many this is their first job.” Potthoff likes to point out that three of the full-time employees at Pizzeria were trained by him.“I like to think my training made them good and also helped them to enjoy the job,” he said. He said for many of his employees it is their first job. “I enjoy watching them as they grow up and move on to their careers,” he said.Potthoff said the Leipsic Pizzeria is a popular place for area teens following games. “They are good when they come in,” he said. “It may get noisy, but it’s a steady roar.” “This is a safe and centralized place for them to come,’ he said. “I like that. I can keep an eye on them and know they are having a good time while staying out of trouble.”Potthoff also takes pride in keeping the place clean all the time. “I hear other businesses talk about getting ready before the health inspector comes,” he said. “We just keep doing what we always do every day to keep this place clean. I take pride in this.”“I enjoy managing this business,” Potthoff said. “I get to be a part of the community every day.”
Tara Cutlip, 21 and pregnant with her second child, was shot and killed Saturday in her Bahama Drive home. Loved ones gather in front of Tara's home to remember her and speak out against domestic violence.