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batavia's original

March 13, 2018 - 8:10am

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Head Coach Jim Fazio (far left) with Assistant Coach Mark Janes (far right) along with members of Batavia High School Girls Softball Team receive a check for $1,000 from owner Kathy Ferrara yesterday afternoon at Batavia's Original Pizzeria, Batavia. 

The girls did a great job promoting this event and in honor of International Womans Day on March 8th, Ferrara said she decided to match their fundraising efforts.

"I believe empowering women is important in our community and these young ladies represent a strong future, so I wanted to help them raise funds towards their trip," she said.

The team has been fundaising since December when they saw an opportunity to play ball in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and add games to their schedule in warmer weather.  

December 25, 2017 - 8:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia's original, batavia, news.

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City firefighters, above, were among the firefighters, medical personnel, and police officers who received free pizza today from staff members of Batavia's Original, while they worked on Christmas Day.

This is the third year Tom Scott, one of the managers at Batavia's Original, with the support of owner Kathy Ferrara, led members of the staff in the donation of pizza to first responders on Christmas Day. Helping this year were Bailee Welker and Marc Tillery.  

Pizzas were delivered to City Fire, Batavia PD, the Sheriff's Office, UMMC, and State Police.

Photos by Marc Tillery.

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November 25, 2017 - 3:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia's original, batavia, business, news.

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Kathy Ferrara, with her husband, Dan, children Marygrace, Daniel, Ashley, and grandson Brently, celebrated her purchase of Batavia's Original earlier this week.

After thanking the community, employees, and her family for their support, there was a ribbon cutting outside.

Previously: Batavia's Original, formerly Pontillo's, returns to local ownership

Note about the ribbon-cutting pictures. I messed up and forgot to change my camera settings when we shifted from inside to outside, so my ribbon-cutting photo was overexposed. Below there is a picture from the Kelly Birmingham of the Chamber of Commerce, and my photo in black and white.

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November 22, 2017 - 11:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pontillo's, batavia's original, batavia, business, news, notify.

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As friends and customers have found out her plans, people have told Kathy Ferrara, "This must have been your dream all along" -- becoming owner of Batavia's Original.

That's not the case, said Ferrara yesterday, hours after closing a deal with the previous owner, Jeff Reddish, of Rochester, to buy the popular local restaurant.

"I never planned on buying it," Ferrara said. "I just enjoyed what I did. I did it 100 percent. I was trustworthy. This wasn’t my plan. It was definitely that God wanted me here. I’ve tried leaving a couple of times and He made it really clear that this is where I’m supposed to be. He made this happen so only good things are going to come from that."

Before Batavia's Original was Batavia's Original, it was Pontillo's, Batavia's first pizza parlor, and Ferrara started working for Sam and Betty Pontillo 29 years ago as a waitress.

Sam and Betty, she said, took her under their wings and taught her the pizza business from top to bottom. She was trained in every job in the restaurant.

By the time Sam and Betty's sons took over, she was a manager.  

When that business collapsed in 2010, Ferrara was the one who broke the news to the staff.

When Reddish bought the business and the building at 500 E. Main St. out of bankruptcy, it was Ferrara that Reddish called to run the business.

"Jeff Reddish taught me the ins and outs of the business," Ferrara said. "He taught me how to make payroll and meet food costs together. He was a good teacher. He was great to work for, a really good boss, fair, basically let me do things the way we've been doing all these years."

Earlier this year, Ferrara asked Reddish, who owns restaurants in Rochester, if she could become a partner in the Batavia location.

"He wasn’t looking to sell," Ferrara said. "He wasn’t going to put it on the market. That wasn’t in his plan at all. I approached him and he said ‘I’m not looking to sell, but I would sell it to you.’ He’s the one who got the ball rolling and made it happen.”

Ferrara is a graduate of Pembroke High School and Genesee Community College. She is married with three children, Ashley, Mary-Grace, and Daniel, and one grandson.

Local ownership of the restaurant is important to Ferrara, she said. She will have more control over local promotions, support of local charities and organizations, and who she hires as vendors.

"Now that it is locally owned again, that makes a big difference," Ferrara said. "Everybody I’ve dealt with so far, the website designer, maintenance, plumbers, they’re all local. So everything is back local, in Genesee County, so that only helps the community."

She will keep the name, Batavia's Original, picked after Reddish learned he couldn't retain the name Pontillo's. Ferrara said it only makes sense.

"This is the original pizza of Batavia," she said. "It’s the same recipe. We haven’t changed any of the recipes."

The return of Pontillo's/Batavia's Original to local ownership will be celebrated with a ribbon cutting at noon on Saturday.

Ferrara said she will also continue Sam and Betty's tradition of taking good care of the staff and ensuring restaurant guests get great service.

"Everybody is treated fairly," Ferrara said. "It’s a fun environment to work. I always work around their schedules. The staff is mostly college students and high schoolers."

Being able to do more for the staff of 35 employees is another reason Ferrara was motivated to buy the business, she said. Taking care of employees pays off in better customer service.

"Anybody who comes here to eat will always leave with a good experience," Ferrara said. "Everyone who works here gives 100 percent. I get compliments all day long about the staff. People say they look like they love it here and they do. That’s something the Pontillos taught me, is how to treat the staff. Sam and Betty treated everybody like family."

Photos by Steve Ognibene.

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November 10, 2016 - 11:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia's original, batavia, oakfield-alabama, schools, business, news.

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Students from all of the high schools in Genesee County were provided a 20x32-inch canvas by Batavia's Original with an invitation to paint their school's mascot. The winning team -- the art class from Oakfield-Alabama -- received a pizza party.

The artwork will be displayed inside of the restaurant. 

Pictured above are: Haily Davis, Olivia Carroll, Hope Kollarik, Mrs. Leah Peca, Emily Staniszewski, Makayla Hichey and Lakin Woodward.

Photos and information provided by General Manager Kathy Ferrara.

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September 17, 2015 - 2:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia's original, batavia.

Batavia's Original Pizzeria has a new campaign going as a way of saying "thank you" to any law enforcement officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician or member of the military.

Their Pay It Forward program works this way: buy a giant slice of pizza for $3 plus tax and they will put up a Post-It note on the window at the pizzeria, located at 500 E. Main St. in the City of Batavia.

Then when a person in uniform (as mentioned above) comes in the restaurant, they can take a Post-It note off the window and redeem it for a gargantuan slice of pizza, pre-paid by you.

The phone number, in case you want to call in an order, is 343-3303.

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