Little pizza shop with a big heart

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By Doug Ponder

The community of Buffalo in LaRue County is known for many things, including a locally owned pizza restaurant.

Pizza Zone is a family owned pizza and Italian restaurant that is located on 2507 Greensburg Road in Buffalo. They serve a variety of Italian food items including pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, salads and more.

Owner Beth Wortham Keith purchased the store almost 20 years ago in April 1996. The restaurant was previously owned by Milburn Childress and called “Your Pizza Place.”

“I was in between jobs and I had been in food service all of my life,” Beth said. “My brother in law heard it was up for sale and told me I should buy it.”

Pizza Zone is the textbook definition of family business. Beth works with her mother, Ruth Wortham and her husband, Rick Keith.

Beth said her mom is well known and has become an icon at Pizza Zone .

“Mom is known for her chef salads. We have one loyal customer who told us he buys the same ingredients and follows the same recipe, but that he can’t make it the same at home like my mom can,” Beth said. “I told him it’s not the same because it’s missing the love.”

“I love working with my family and seeing all the people. It keeps me healthy,” Ruth Wortham said. “At my age, if you sit down, you die. My doctors love that I am staying busy and I love it too.”

Rick Keith said he tells people that Pizza Zone is the best pizza restaurant in LaRue County.

“We cook our pizzas in a brick oven, which gives it a unique flavor. We also make our own dough. People who move off from here always want to come here to eat first thing when they are back in the county,” Rick said. “We deliver around a ten mile radius of the restaurant. On a busy night, it can take a little bit before we can get orders delivered. I always tell people to call before you are hungry.”

Beth said that they measure their ingredients based on “love.”

“We put double the toppings on our pizzas and I don’t measure anything. Our large Ultimate (supreme) pizza weighs anywhere from seven to eight pounds,” Beth said. “I don’t want to cheat my customers. When they pay for it, I want them to think it was worth it.”

The thing that Pizza Zone is most known for is putting a Bible verse on each pizza box.

“We have Bible verses on boxes that are centered around important holidays like Christmas, Easter and Mother’s Day,” Beth said. “Other times we just pick verses that speak to us.”

Pizza Zone is also active in the community as they donate pizzas and other food for auctions, LCHS project graduation and other events throughout the community.

“We also donate a large pizza to some of the families of our most loyal customers when they pass away,” Beth said. “Some of them have told us that it was the only food they received.”

Beth went on to say that they have sponsored the spaghetti eating contest at the LaRue County Fair each year and that they plan on sponsoring it again this year. She said they are also planning a 20 year anniversary celebration at their restaurant on Sunday, April 24 from 1 to 4 p.m.

Their hours are Mondays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fridays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sundays from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Deliveries are free and they start at 4 p.m. each day. For more information about Pizza Zone call 270-325-2252 or visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Pizza-Zone.