New Papa John’s location to open on Kresge Drive in Amherst by Dec. 1

By Jason Hawk -

A Papa John’s Pizza franchise is on track to open by Dec. 1 on Kresge Drive in Amherst.

Franchisee Richard Scarpelli of Grafton said he has renovated the former AT&T location next to Subway and Don Tequila Bar & Grill.

He’s not new to the business of pizza, with 15 years under his belt.

A former franchise business rep for Papa John’s International, he now owns five locations, including Papa John’s at Chestnut Commons in Elyria, on Detroit Road in Avon, and with a business partner in Pittsburgh, Pa., and Cumberland, Md.

The Amherst restaurant will offer delivery to most of Amherst and parts of Lorain. The service area is based on time; Scarpelli said the goal is to have a hot pie on the doorstep within 35 minutes.

To that end, he is hiring. Initially, the new store will have 25 or more workers. Some will be moved from his other franchise locations in Lorain County.

Job fairs are planned from 2-7 p.m. each Tuesday until opening at the Amherst location. You can also visit or stop by the Avon or Elyria locations for applications.

The pizza business has been good to Scarpelli, but he said competition is fierce. Margins are low and Papa John’s has plenty of national chain and local rivals.

So what sets his pizza apart?

“We’re based on better ingredients. The toppings we use are of a higher quality,” Scarpelli said. “That’s what people want. They’re looking for a quality pizza.”

Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.

By Jason Hawk