The Amish are known for their close-knit families and traditional values, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to get the whole gang together for a sit-down meal. And since that’s a universal problem, an Amish family in Panama, New York, recently opened a pizzeria called Family Night Pizza.
Dorothy Miller and her family own the restaurant, which opened on October 14, 2022. Miller said the restaurant was inspired by weekly meals at her own home.
“We have family night for our kids once a week, and it has made such a huge difference in our family’s closeness,” she told the Post-Journal. “It teaches our kids to speak their own minds. Each week, we have a topic, and the kids get a chance to speak up. It’s made a huge difference for us. The ability to pray together and bless each other is huge for us.”
Family Night Pizza has a Facebook page with 245 followers and a 5-star rating for its fare. The menu features pies, wings and sauces, hot and cold subs, salads, soups and dessert pizzas.
The Millers are learning as they go along. After the Post-Journal article ran on January 20, their restaurant got more business than they’d bargained for. “We did not expect such a response from the article in the PJ,” they posted on Facebook that night. “And we forgot to mention that we…[use] a slow bake [oven]. It takes about 35 minutes to bake a pizza…which is very inconvenient but hopefully that will change in the future.”
If you have trouble gathering all of your kids together for a meal, the Millers feel your pain. “As an Amish family, we still have to work to get the kids to come to the table,” Miller told the Post-Journal. “This is challenging, especially with teenagers. We want to show that, together as a family, we are able to bless people.”
According to the Amish 365 website, pizza is a favorite for Amish families. “The Amish have had a long love affair with pizza,” the site, which focuses on Amish and Mennonite recipes and culture, states. “You’d think pizza and the Amish would be worlds apart, but if you think about it, pizza has all the ingredients that appeal to Amish cooks: homemade bread (crust), pizza sauce (tomatoes from the garden), and all the toppings (from their supply of meat or garden-grown veggies).