Porch Light pleases with specialty artisan pizzas

Porch Light uses a 700-degree oven to cook its pizza.

Porch Light Pizza, an award-winning restaurant known for its fast-fired thin-crust artisan pizza, is the students’ favorite pizza place for the third year in a row.

“It’s incredible that we’ve gotten this much support from the students and the rest of the town people,” General Manager George Swanger said. “It’s just super humbling that way they support in such a great way.”

Swanger said Porch Light Pizza is great place to enjoy a meal inside, and on nice days customers can eat out on the patio. His favorite time is the busy Friday and Saturday nights when it is packed, and there is a long line out the door.

Swanger has been a part of Porch Light since three weeks before the grand opening on April 25, 2012, and thinks the community noticed Porch Light Pizza since the first year of business.

Although the locally owned pizza place has already received recognition, Swanger said that throughout the three years, the business’s consistency has gone “drastically up.”

“I think what makes us stand out is the quality,” Swanger said. “When people come here, they know they’re going to get a good product every single time.”

Swanger credits a lot of the success and recognition to the friendships that made between the staff and customers.

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“I got employees that have been here since day one,” Swanger said. “After three years, it’s just a friendly face when you come into porchlight.”

Assistant manager Vic Nordstrom is part of the friendly staff that Swanger said is “always happy to see you.”

Nordstrom has been working at Porch Light Pizza for over two years, and said the crew is trained to place customer satisfaction first.

“We try to make it fun, clean, consistent, friendly and hospitable,” Nordstrom said.

Nordstrom said when hiring, they make sure that everybody can do everything.

“Everyone is trained on how to make the dressing, the dough, how to make the pizza correctly so it’s consistent every time the customer comes in,” he said.

Nordstrom said a lot of that comfort starts with management ensuring that employees enjoy working there. He credits the fun work environment as a big reason why there is not much turnover.

Nordstrom said that, in addition to everyone getting along and working well together, the fact that every employee can do any role makes it possible to manage those busy Friday and Saturday nights.

Although the line is through the door, Nordstrom said the business is able to maintain its philosophy, which is fast-fire pizza served quickly and consistently.