Two years ago, Denelle and Sam Purdin had the idea of opening up a pizza restaurant in their hometown of Winchester.
Sam Purdin suggested it his wife because he enjoyed her homemade pizza and sauce. The two-year journey has led to the opening of a new location in Ripley on U.S. 52 and Fancy’s Famous Pizza made its way to Brown County.
“I had worked in a pizza restaurant when I was younger,” Denelle Purdin said. “I had developed my own recipe and my husband said, ‘We can do this.’”
After two years in the business in Winchester, the Purdins have embarked on a new venture in the new Ripley location off U.S. 52 at the old Goldstar Chili restaurant.
Denelle Purdin said she had only been to Ripley a few times until this past year when she and her husband sent their children to school in Ripley.
“We started sending our children to school at St. Michael last year and noticed there isn’t a whole lot in Ripley,” Denelle Purdin said. “We found the building and saw the opportunity to open the location.”
The location off U.S. 52 was perfect for Denelle Purdin who said she did not know it had previously been a restaurant until after they secured the space. The space made it easy to convert from old restaurant to new pizza place.
“It’s right on the main street in Ripley and it’s on the newer side of town,” she said. “It was pretty easy to set the building up. We had no structural changes and a little bit of preparation made it easy to set up.”
But the easy set-up did not come without setbacks. Shortly after its grand opening, construction began on U.S. 52 on the east side of Ripley and, more importantly, in front of Fancy’s Pizza.
“We actually didn’t know the highway would be under construction and, if we had, we would have pushed back the opening a few weeks,” Denelle Purdin said. “But it hasn’t been too bad. There were times when we could not make deliveries last week because it took 20 minutes to get out of the parking lot. The customers understood, but we made the effort to try to get to those who can’t get out for carry out.”
Fancy’s Famous Pizza serves the areas of Ripley, Aberdeen, Red Oak and Higginsport with delivery service, but don’t let the name fool you. Despite being a pizzeria, it offers a host of items including salads, subs, hamburgers, French fries and spaghetti.
Denelle Purdin said the response to the new location has been ”very good, and very busy,” during the first few weeks of opening, despite the road construction set-back. She said a few of the customers from Winchester have stopped in to try the new location in Ripley.
Fancy’s Famous Pizza is a family business with most of the employees being part of the family, but Denelle Purdin said she has hired outside of the family and will likely need more when things settle down from the opening.
Fancy’s Famous Pizza is open from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and is closed on Sunday.
Reach Brian Durham at 937-378-6161 or on twitter @gnd_bdurham