Hello everyone. Today I will be writing about one of Chicago’s guilty pleasures. John’s Frozen Pizza was one of Chicago’s famous foods that were so unforgettable to everyone’s mind. Other frozen pizzas have come and gone, but this one I wished didn’t go away. I remembered other ones, like Totinos, La Pizzeria, Saluto, Jeno’s, and Mama Celeste. A couple of them are still around. The television commercials were memorable, and some had catchphrases that are present in everyone’s mind.
A man named Anthony J. Pizza founded the company. Yes, that was his real name. The plant that made the pizzas were at on Joe Orr Rd in Chicago Heights, IL. From reliable sources, the pizzas made their way to local grocery stores and supermarkets in the Chicagoland area in the late 1950s. The stores that I remembered carried them were Jewel, Dominicks, National Foods, Colony Foods, A&P, and High-Low Foods.
John’s Pizza came in different sizes and flavors. There was sausage, cheese, pepperoni, hamburger, and a deluxe combination. I remember they also offered three smaller pizzas in a box. Then, they came out with the three 3 square small pizzas in a box. I recalled my mother buying sausage and cheese for the family. My brothers and I loved them. She occasionally bought the hamburger one. That was good also. We usually had John’s Pizza on the weekend. Sometimes the kids in the neighborhood would drop by and have some pizza with us.
The best time of eating John’s Pizza was during of watching television. Whether it was a television show or a movie, it was a lot of fun. My brothers and I would watch Creatures Features on Saturday night on WGN-TV Channel 9 and have John’s Pizza with RC Cola. My mother would buy the six-pack bottles. I liked the square-sized ones better than the round ones.
On social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, when I or someone posts about John’s Pizza, everyone’s memory of it come flooding in. Most people loved it, and some didn’t. Some say it tasted like cardboard and the tomato sauce tasted like ketchup. I disagreed on both counts. It was good. I still preferred ordering freshly made pizza at take-out places.
John’s Frozen Pizza disappeared in the mid-1980s. I don’t know if it went out of business or sold to another company. I still eat frozen pizza from time to time. The best one that is close is Home Run Inn. It’s okay, but it’s not like John’s. It is still one of Chicago’s childhood memories when it comes to food. It was unique. I still miss it. Thank you. Pete Kastanes. Admin for Vanished Chicagoland Facebook Page.