Clatsop County residents know that Fultano’s Pizza is known for a family atmosphere, friendly service and delicious cornmeal crust. The crust has been a local favorite for decades.
In 1977, at the corner Olney Avenue and 7th Street, Bob and Jeannette Fulton opened their first Fultano’s Pizza overlooking Youngs Bay in Astoria. The location of their family enterprise was a fresh overhaul of what was previously Pizza Vendor, a partnership of pizza venues that eventually separated ways. Over the next 35 years the family business opened eight different Fultano’s Pizza locations throughout northern Oregon. While all of the Fultano’s Pizza venues have the same legendary crust recipe, each location is independently owned.
Each Fultano’s Pizza owner has worked with the Robert Fulton, second generation owner and operator of the brand. “He sold his managers the stores,” said Jessica Lahaie, general manager of the Warrenton Fultano’s Pizza. “Every owner has worked with Robert at some point.” In the late 1990s Fulton partnered with Warrenton Mini-Mart to purchase the building at 78 East Harbor Street and completely renovated it to include another local haunt Bubba’s Sports Bar.
“Fultano’s Pizza gives back to youth programs as much as we can,” said Jessica. “For as long as I can remember Fultano’s Pizza has been on softball and baseball shirts and giving back to the community.”
Jessica also shared stories about fundraisers to support people in the community. “Recently a local youth wanted to travel to Australia to wrestle and we were able to raise some funds for the trip. Or likewise if something horrible happens in the community we try to do something for the cause even if it’s sending dinner,” she said.
A longtime local, Jessica was raised in the area, graduated from Warrenton High School and began her career with Fultano’s Pizza when she was 14. For the past 24 years she has worked on and off for different Fultano’s Pizza locations as she attended college, lived in the Willamette Valley, and then returned to her Warrenton roots to raise a family. Though she got her start in the Astoria restaurant, Jessica has worked in four of the eight locations. “What really sets Fultano’s Pizza a part is that our employee team feels like family. All of the owners still work together to help solve problems and even get together for an annual trip to a Pizza Trade Fair. The owner of Astoria feels like my big brother, the owner of Claskanie feels like an uncle and when we get together it is like a big family reunion,” she said.
The sense of family extends from the staff to the customers as well. Justin is known as “the Keeper of the Ovens.”
“He is one of the hardest workers I have ever seen,” said Jessica when describing his work ethic. “He loves professional athletes and meeting local professional athletes that come into the store.” When Dusty McGrorty (graduate of Warrenton High School and professional football player in the 2000s) strolled into Fultano’s Pizza to grab an order and reconnect with the community of his youth, Justin was thrilled. “One of my favorite parts about working at Fultano’s Pizza is seeing the customers. I love meeting new people, seeing old friends and watching the kids grow up – kids like Dusty who grew up eating Fultano’s Pizza and still come back,” said Jessica.
Fultano’s Pizza in Warrenton is open daily 11:00 a.m. through 9:00 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday and open until 10:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. The Warrenton location of Fultano’s Pizza also offers online ordering and delivery to the Warrenton area.
For more information be sure to visit Jessica and the rest of the friendly staff at Fultano’s Pizza or call 503-861-9367.