Johnny’s serving up fresh pizza

Johnny’s Pizza co-owner Joe Berger prepares a meat lover’s specialty pizza.

Johnny’s Pizza co-owner Joe Berger prepares a meat lover’s specialty pizza.

McDONOUGH — Maybe it was the sauce or the pizza dough that brought Mindy and Joe Berger together.

The couple owns Johnny’s New York Style Pizza in McDonough.

What’s fascinating about their love story is that the couple met at the pizza food chain when they were 18 years old. Both were working at the Forest Park location when it opened in 1980, with founders Scott Allen and Bruce Jackson, with whom they are still friends with till this day.

“We work very well together,” Mindy said.

More than 30 years later, the sweethearts have kept their passion for pizza and each other and have gone into business together, opening Johnny’s across the Atlanta area.

The duo decided to make Henry County their home four years ago.

“We love it here,” said Joe. “We know all the customers who come in here by name. It’s like a big family.”

Mindy said she was driving by the location on her way to her son’s baseball game in Ola.

“I got stuck in traffic and noticed this vacant building,” she said. She thought to herself, “This will be a great location to open up a Johnny’s.”

Her 17-year-old son attends Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy in McDonough.

“Everything was a lot closer and more convenient for us,” she said.

Since opening their restaurant, Joe and Mindy say business has been great.

“We do a lot for the community and for the schools,” Mindy said. “We donate a lot of pizzas for many events.”

Joe said it’s their fresh-to-order authentic pizza that keeps people coming back for more.

“I’ve had several customers approach me who are from New York and tell this is the best pizza that they have ever had,” he said. “It makes me feel good to know that we are putting out a great product.”

They say that is their top priority.

“I don’t think that you will go into another restaurant where it is as clean as ours,” Joe said. “I’m a real stickler about things being clean. I want customers to feel comfortable when they come in here to eat.”

That is one of the reasons they have an open kitchen, where people can see what’s going on.

“People like to see their food being cooked and know that it is being done right,” Mindy said. “Kids especially like to come and peer through the windows and watch the pizzas being prepared.”

The Bergers said the realize that times are tough for most families, which is why they offer special discounts.

“It can be a little more expensive than the other pizza places, but you’re not going to get the authentic quality that we have,” Joe said.

The restaurant is located at 24 Old Jackson Road in McDonough.