Written By Dominique Goyette-Connerty
One word: Pizza.
If you’re a college student, you probably love pizza. If you’re a human, you probably love pizza.
The second annual Best Pizza in Fitchburg—You Decide event will be taking place this coming Thursday, March 30 from 6-9:30 p.m. at Beemers Pub and Grill on Main Street, Fitchburg.
Aerevyn Harteis, a board member of Growing Places, a local non-profit organization for food justice in North-Central Mass, came up with a way to satisfy everyone’s love of pizza while also giving back to the community.
“Last year I was hanging out with friends and I said, ‘Wouldn’t it be really funny if we ordered a pizza from every pizza place and tried them all out and saw which one was the best?’” Harteis said.
In a matter of a week, the event took off. Harteis reserved the back room at Destaré, a local martini bar and nightclub, spread the word to her friends, and ended up getting all the pizzas for this tasting donated. This allowed the proceeds to be donated to two food-focused organizations: Growing Places and Help for Our Community. About 55-65 people attended.
“It was really fun…a lot of people came out,” said Harteis about last year’s event.
“I’m really into getting people downtown. I like the idea of supporting local businesses and the fact that we get to give–[the proceeds] back.”
The concept is simple. Independent pizza joints all over Fitchburg have been welcomed to compete, asking that they donate four of their best pizzas. Purchasing a ticket allows one admission into the event to sample each of the 14 shops participating. Towards the end of the night, each participant will be able to score each shop and scores will be averaged in order to decide which is Fitchburg’s most favored independent pizza shop. Awards will be given to the top three contenders.
“It’s like a giant party…It’s just so silly and so fun,” Harteis said.
“I love Fitchburg and I love pizza and I love all the people I know. It’s a great way to get everybody and all of that altogether.”
This year, the proceeds will be going to Growing Places’ South Street Elementary School Gardening Project. This garden education project will be teaching kids about plants, nutrition, cooking and environmental stewardship.
Shops participating this year include: Campus Pizza, Centre Pizza, Cleghorn House of Pizza, Country Pizza, Espresso Pizza, Godfrey’s Grille and Pizzeria, Il Forno Restaurant, Il Ricordi, Liberty Pizza, Mike’s Pizza & More, Partner’s Pub, Superfans Deli and Pizzeria, Zeda’s Pizza and the host: Beemer’s Pub & Grill.
Last year’s winner was Il Forno. When asked if she thought Il Forno would be the reigning champion again this year Harteis said, “We have a few new people who weren’t there last year, so it will be interesting to see when we add those people to the mix how that shakes out and who wins.”
Adult tickets are $10, children are $5. Tickets can be bought online at
or in person at both Beemers Pub and Eddy’s Music (located right next to Chaibo). Tickets will be sold at the door as well, but only until the event reaches their cap of 100. Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase through Beemers’ bar.
Raffle tickets are also being sold this year and one lucky person will win a pizza a month for a year from their participating shops of choice. Those tickets are being sold on Eventbrite and at the event itself for $10 each.