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Paras Pizza: Making Pizza and Memories for 60 Years

Peter and Michelle Mitropoulos

Peter and Michelle Mitropoulos, owners of Paras Pizza, are celebrating their business’ 60th anniversary this year.

Photo: Ericka Sanborn

By Jenna Smith, Grade 7 – St. Thomas School

“Paras Pizza is a staple in the community.” These are the first words that come to mind when Peter Mitropoulos, the current owner of Paras Pizza, reflects upon his business, which is gearing up to celebrate its 60th anniversary. That’s six decades of mouth-watering pizza, Italians and memories.

Back in 1964, Peter’s father, George Mitropoulos, opened Paras Pizza on School Street, next to where Moe’s Italians currently stands. As a young boy, Peter would watch his father slip pies in and out of the oven and interact with customers. He would lend a hand after school when extra help was needed. Like his father, Peter found that Paras Pizza became part of his DNA. When George passed away on Oct. 14, 2012, Peter and his wife, Michelle, knew exactly what they had to do to honor George’s legacy: keep the business going, and keep serving the community.

Except for a move to 45 High St. following a fire in March 2005, not much has changed. The Mitropouloses share that, besides the pizza, that’s what customers have come to love most about the establishment. The interior looks and feels just as it did decades ago. Customers comment on this frequently and often reminisce about patronizing Paras Pizza over the years. The Mitropouloses enjoy the many stories that their patrons share at the counter before placing their orders. Parents and grandparents delight in telling their children and grandchildren about memories from 40 years ago — or even earlier. That, according to the Mitropouloses, is the most rewarding part of running their business, a sign that they’ve done something right over the years.

Paras Pizza has earned the title “Best Pizza in Sanford/Springvale” from Market Surveys of America for seven consecutive years. They are grateful for this honor, bestowed upon them by members of the community, and look to give back as often as they can, donating to various causes and fundraisers. Most recently, they donated pizzas to Sanford Pride Elementary School for their 2024 Teacher Appreciation Week.

Paras Pizza currently employs six people, five of whom are graduating high school seniors. The Mitropouloses are searching for a new batch of employees to help carry on the Paras Pizza tradition, a legacy that they hope will last another 60 years — and beyond.

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