NSU impacted founder of Mazzio’s
TNE Editor
/ Categories: Feature, Local

NSU impacted founder of Mazzio’s

Published 11/9/17

Trista Vaughn

TNE Writer

Mazzio’s Italian Eatery is one of the very few Italian-based restaurants in Tahlequah. Mazzio's Corporation is a privately-owned Tulsa-based holding company. It first did not start off as Mazzio’s Italian Eatery.

Ken Selby, founder of Mazzio’s, opened his first restaurant, Pizza Parlor, in 1961 on 11th Street near Harvard in Tulsa.  He opened his second restaurant a few years later and changed the name to Ken's Pizza. In 1970, Selby changed the name again, this time to Mazzio’s, and broadened the menu items. By 1975, more than 100 locations were across Oklahoma and even the surrounding states.

“Ken Selby is the heart and soul of Mazzio’s,” said Chris Acosta, Tahlequah Mazzio’s general manager. “His story is such a special one because he literally started from the bottom and worked his way up to get where Mazzio’s is at today.”

Out of the Mazzio’s corporate stores, Tahlequah’s location is one of three that offers full service to customers.

“Some customers look so surprised when we tell them we are a full-service restaurant,” Maggie Falley, front of house supervisor. “I have some regular customers that go to other Mazzio’s locations and think they are full service. I think it makes Tahlequah’s Mazzio special out of the other Mazzio’s locations surrounding us.”

Mazzio’s does not only offer pizza, but offers a variety of food items.

“Since I have been working at Mazzio’s for three years, I have many regular customers tell me that they love our menu,” said Felicia Taylor, Mazzio’s social media manager. “I have some regular customers that come in on Sunday morning specifically for the traditional wings that we offer.”

Taylor said her favorite food at Mazzio’s is not even pizza. Six cheese bake with chicken is her all-time favorite at Mazzio’s.

Tahlequah also has a special mark on Selby’s life.

“When I first started training in Tahlequah, the manger above me mentioned that Selby got his teaching degree from NSU in 1958,” said Acosta. “I have had a couple customers that would ask for me specifically and tell me that they remember Ken. To me, I think Selby graduating from NSU is a reason why we have great support from the Tahlequah community.”

Mazzio’s also does charity work.

“My favorite time of the year is when No Kid Hungry campaign begins,” said Taylor. “I love this campaign because it goes to feeding kids in America. I know there are a lot of kids that only get to eat breakfast and lunch that is provided at school so it’s nice to know that this helps them out.”

Giveaways are frequent on Mazzio’s Facebook page. Giveaways build customer relationships and show customers they are valued.

“We have started a thing called Mazz Mondays,” said Taylor. “On Mondays, we announced a giveaway and people can comment, like and share for a chance to win. We announce the winner Friday afternoon.”

This Saturday is Veterans Day. Mazzio’s will feature a special for this day. All veterans receive a free small pizza.

For more information about Mazzio’s, visit Mazzio's Facebook page.  

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