NEW CASTLE, Pa. (WKBN) – Augustine’s Pizza in New Castle was destroyed by a fire Nov. 8.
Now, the landmark is coming down.
“You look at it coming down and it is definitely heartbreaking. My sister, my mom and dad were all there crying. The first day it came down, I didn’t actually go hear it,” owner Frank J. Augustine said.
He said it was very difficult at first because of his and his family’s routine.
“It has been pretty crazy. For almost four months, we did next to nothing. You go from working every day to waking up and not going to work. Your family has worked at the same place for fifty-some years,” Augustine said.
Earlier this year, the business purchased a building in the Shenango Industrial Park, which it uses as a factory site for making its products.
Augustine said the new facility took some getting used to.
“It was a long process waiting for stuff and making calls. When is it shipping? Something might not work right. You’ve got 15 different machines that nobody really knows what they are doing and you are kind of learning them all at once on the fly,” he said.
Now, the famous frozen pizzas are back on store shelves. Augustine said it’s thrilling to see the reaction of customers. And the pizzas are going fast.
“We were selling out as much as we were putting in. There were people waiting for them. The truck drivers were handing them five at a time to people before they even put them in the freezer,” he said.
Business employees also are excited for the return of the pizza.
“The town really liked the pizza shop. We hope they get it back up and running sooner or later down the line. But it has been hard. A lot of the people like Augustine’s,” pizza packager Stephen Threats said.
“It was tough getting back into some grocery stores. Before the fire, we were in upwards of 200 grocery stores. We are not really at that just yet,” Augustine said.
Augustine said there is no time frame yet on when a takeout version of the pizzeria will open.