In 1971 there was a small pizza parlor run by a local family in Spencer, Indiana. One day Gary and Karen Hardesty were approached about the possibility of becoming owners, but Gary chose to become a partner. After a short while he made the offer of 5 cows to buy out his partner’s share in the business and thus the Pizza Pantry began for the Hardesty family. In 1974 a second location was added in Ellettsville, Indiana. Since the opening Gary and Karen have attended baking schools and conventions to learn to prepare homemade crusts and bread for their customers.
Favorite pizza offerings such as Supreme, Hawaiian, Taco, Barbecue Chicken, and Meat Lovers have become mainstays at the restaurants. Residents who have grown up and moved away often return to request the Barbecue Stroms and Subs, always mentioning how they miss the taste of these hometown specialties.
In 2012 Gary and Karen’s son, Ron, began to take on a more visible role in the family business. He hopes to continue the Pizza Pantry legacy for generations to come. He has helped the business go hi-tech with computers and online ordering and has helped open a third location in Bloomington. Ron would like the Pizza Pantry to be known for its customer satisfaction, for detail and quality in its services, and a satisfactorily-priced menu that will afford any pocketbook.