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Loomis Pizza Factory celebrates 25 years

By: Kathy Maynard, Loomis News Correspondent
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A local family-owned business will mark its silver anniversary by selling pizza at 1987 prices. Loomis Pizza Factory celebrates its 25th anniversary on Saturday, June 30, by selling pizzas at half price and giving away prizes from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Owners Eric and Maren Lombardi are also sponsoring a raffle for a weeklong stay at their home in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to raise funds for the new Del Oro Aquatic Center. ?Both our kids played water polo at Del Oro, so the aquatic center is near and dear to our hearts,? said Maren Lombardi. The Lombardis are huge supporters of aquatics in the Loomis community and we?re very excited about the raffle,? said Grace Kamphefner, chairperson of the Friends of the Del Oro Pool fundraising group. Loomis Pizza Factory has a history of supporting the community. They?ve sponsored sports teams, provided fundraising pizzas for schools, churches and sports teams, and donated prizes to local nonprofit organizations, and served all-you-can-eat pizza for $5 after the Del Oro football games. ?Giving to the community is what makes Loomis Loomis,? said Maren Lombardi. The couple purchased their first Pizza Factory in Kingsburg, in 1985 in partnership with Eric?s parents Gary and Mary Lombardi, brother Brian Lombardi, and family friend Alan Kidwell. ?We came from a family farm background in the central valley and a ranch in Montana, and decided we wanted to get back into a family business. Within a year and a half we had five Pizza Factories in California,? Eric Lombardi said. Since then, Eric and Maren Lombardi have opened and sold more than 20 Pizza Factories and bought out their partners. They currently own Pizza Factories in Fernley, Nev. as well as Loomis and Eric also works for the franchisor. Following family tradition, their daughter, Allie, who graduated from Del Oro in 2005, manages a Pizza Factory in Nevada, while son Patrick, a 2007 Del Oro grad, helps manage the Loomis restaurant and makes deliveries. After 27 years in the business, Eric Lombardi eats pizza almost every day. ?There are so many variations, I never get tired of it. I love Canadian bacon and cashews, chicken oriental, and when we come home after two weeks in Mexico, I go for a straight on pepperoni pizza,? he said. Maren Lombardi often chooses ravioli or lasagne for a change. ?Our name implies that we only do pizza, but we have delicious pastas, wonderful sandwiches and a beautiful salad bar,? she said. Eric Lombardi attributes their top rating on the Yelp website to hand tossing their crusts, making their own pizza dough and tomato, white, barbecue and pesto sauces daily, and using only fresh vegetables. ?We not only have the best pizza in Loomis, but the biggest. Nobody else has a 24-inch party pizza like we do, along with five other sizes,? he said. Each pizza is handmade and custom baked to order in their traditional slate oven, in contrast to the conveyor belt ovens common in chain restaurants. ?We?ve had hunters bring in moose and caribou meat to put on their pizzas and one customer had us burn her pizza till it was absolutely black,? Eric Lombardi said. ?But the most popular are still pepperoni, combo and Hawaiian.? Raffle tickets are being sold for $10 each or six for $50 at the Pizza Factory, by calling Maren Lombardi at (530) 305-2931 or Grace Kamphefner at 765-0086. The winner will be drawn at Loomis Pizza Factory on Sunday, July 27, following the Suburban Sierra League Championship swim meet at Sierra College. Loomis Pizza Factory 25th Anniversary What: Selling pizza at original 1987 prices, prizes, raffle for weeklong stay in Mexico When: Saturday, June 30 Where: 5831 Horseshoe Bar Road Raffle Tickets: Selling for $10 each or 6/$50 at Pizza Factory, Maren Lombardi at (530) 305-2931 or Grace Kamphefner at 765-0086. For more information: loomis.pizzafactory.com; deloroaquaticcenter.com; castillobadillo.com