(Press Release) Bloomington IN, July 26, 2012–Just as Bloomington icon John Mellencamp’s “Jack and Diane” was topping the Billboard charts in 1982, another local enterprise (lesser known to be sure), was being born. Both had slightly different names back then, but the soul (and the song) remains the same.
Pizza X (then Pizza Express) opened their first store on east 10th street in August of 1982 and began a run that has now spanned 3 decades, changing the face of the Bloomington pizza market . “Bloomington was so chock-full of pizza shops even then that nobody thought we had any chance of competing.” Said founder Jeff Mease.
The company was started by Mease, and another local kid (both were not even old enough to drink) Barry Lowenthal. A few years later, Lowenthal left the company and Mease continued on, joined by his then wife and current business partner Lennie Busch. Busch and Mease have gone on to become prominent in the Bloomington food and beverage scene as their company One World Enterprises went on to create Lennie’s, the Bloomington Brewing Company, One World Catering & Events and Loesch Farm, plus 4 more Pizza X locations in the Bloomington area.
Lennie and I were living in Wright Quad (10th and Jordan) at the time that Pizza Express was conceived. “It often occurs to me as I drive or ride my bike up 10th street where my office is located next to our first Pizza X store (in Crosstown Shopping Center), just how much of my life I’ve spent on 10th Street.”, Mease added.
Pizza X is planning a week and a day of promotions to celebrate their 30th, beginning on the company’s birthday August 2nd. They’ll be offering 30 cent drinks in their famous reusable cups, $30 Pizza mini-parties with 4 pizzas, and 30% off for carry-out customers who can prove they’re also 30 years old. The final day of the promotion August 9th, Pizza X will be donating 30% of all sales to the Hoosier Hills Food Bank. Hoosier Hills is another homegrown icon that is celebration their 30th birthday later this year.
Mease added “When you do a start-up at age 20, I don’t know if it’s possible to think 30 years ahead, but Lennie and I still feel young and we have a great partnership. We’ve got plenty to keep us busy for the next 30 years.”