BIG TASTE IN A SMALL TOWN
Like many a great saga, this one begins at the Sangamon County Fair, New Berlin, in 1986. Jeff Richardson and Lisa Bryant had just started dating, and while at the Fair, ran into Dennis Esele, the former owner of Bernie & Betty’s Pizza in Springfield. Bernie & Betty’s was Jeff’s all-time favorite pizza—EVER—and he had often been kidded, or possibly cursed, about ending up owning it someday. The Esele’s had recently closed the place, so Jeff inquired about purchasing the business. A meeting was held, a price was set, funds were acquired and history begins.