Papa John’s is the Bomb Diggity

Papa Johns 7

So there was this time when I was invited on this press trip, while I was super excited to go , I really didn’t have any expectations. Ok, “this time” was only a few weeks ago, but we all know how time just flies by! I was invited to Louisville to learn more about Papa John’s Pizza. Like I said, I didn’t really have any expectations. But after being at the Papa John’s headquarters for 20 minutes, my mind changed. I’ve been on plenty of press trips where the owner/founder shows face for 5 minutes and then leaves. NOPE, not here! Papa himself, John Schnatter came down  a winding staircase in a “promesqe fashion”, quickly taking off his sport jacket realizing he was overdressed with a bunch of obviously underdressed food bloggers.He introduced himself to all of us and he wanted to hear our stories as well. He seemed genuinely interested in each of our backstories.

John (we’re on a first name basis you see), told us of his humble beginnings of working in a coat closet in his Dads restaurant selling pizzas.

Papa Johns 001

He sold his prized Camaro to help his Dad’s floundering business.(He eventually bought it back for WAY more than than the$2800.00 that he sold it for).  . Papa Johns 1

In 1985, he saved up enough money to open his first official Papa John’s.

It is a total rags to riches story….it’s pretty cool. Read about it here.

Again, my expectations were blown out of the water when John continued with us through a tour of the massive and very impressive facility. We talked dough, in which they use extra virgin olive oil. Papa Johns 5  

We also talked Sauce….it is 6 hours from the time that the tomatoes are picked to the time they are made into sauce and packed into cans.

Papa Johns 2 The company even researches their boxes. They found that there was a strange taste that transferred to the pizza in the brown boxes, so they now use white pizza boxes…sans funky taste transfer. Papa Johns 4 . Papa JOhns 3 And for every tree used to make their boxes…another one is planted. Pretty cool. Untitled

He can toss dough like a champ.

Papa Johns 8. We all got to make our own pizza creation… Papa Johns 9

One thing that I am obsessed with with this corporation is that they are spending 100 million dollars a year to eliminate artificial ingredients and other additives in their food.
This piece from states…”The company removed monosodium glutamate, or MSG, from its ranch dressing last year and pulled trans fats from its garlic sauce. Now Papa John’s has homed in on a list of 14 ingredients, including corn syrup, artificial colors and various preservatives, that will be banished by the end of 2016. The ingredients are mostly in the chain’s dipping sauces, which some customers use for pizza, and other items like chicken poppers.”

Take a look here. It talks about companies like Papa Johns, Chipotle and Panera Bread and they ingredients they do and do not use.

I am über impressed with Papa John’s. Their attention to detail, quality, and passion for what they do just blew me out of the water.

I’m a fan for life.

And that garlic dipping sauce!


*I was not required to write about my trip to Papa John’s. They did pay for travel expenses.


  1. 1

    Such a fun trip! I was super impressed with Papa John!

  2. 3

    What a fun trip! I remember eating a LOT of Papa John’s pizza in college…in particular that garlic dipping sauce. So neat to hear all of the great things they are doing!

  3. 5

    Now that is a fun trip!! Look at him tossing that dough!

  4. 6

    WOW Leslie, how fun! My husband has worked for Papa Johns for almost 20 years in different positions, he is now the Director of Real Estate. It is a wonderful company and the owner is very generous not only to the employees but the town of Louisville and he’s cute too!
    The Papa John’s campus is a beautiful place, I’ve been there a couple of times
    Glad you had so much fun

  5. 8

    What a fun opportunity!

  6. 9

    WOW! Very interesting!!!