HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — National Pizza Day is Thursday, and there are sure to be plenty of offerings to celebrate in style.

One of these deals will happen right in Holland Pizzeria Don Petrin located in Riley Plaza. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., everyone who walks through the door will be given a free slice of pizza.

“We saw that National Pizza Day was coming up and wanted to do something nice for the whole community,” said Don Petrino owner Sergio Vella.

The idea to give out the free slices came after heavy snowfall in the West Michigan area late last year. Vela said he and his staff decided to reward the Holland Police Department with free pizza as a token of appreciation.

National Pizza Day promotion also coincides with the 10th anniversary of the Vella family taking over from Don Petrino after returning to Holland from Italy. His parents have been in the pizza business together for over 30 years. The family origins of pizza go back even further.

“My mom was born in a pizzeria,” Vela said. “They had to pull her mother out so she could give birth.”

Vella’s parents have since relegated themselves to the background in their day-to-day affairs and transferred him and his brother to Don Petrino’s full-time managers. His father still pops in from time to time to make sure everything is up to the original standards, including making all the ingredients from scratch.

“Being Italian, we have good cooking skills,” Vela said. “It’s nice to have a restaurant that we can apply that to.”

Pizza may be in his blood and he may work with it every day, but Vela said he hasn’t lost his love for food.

“You’d think we’d try to avoid it, but we still eat it every day,” he said. “It’s nice and you can share it. It’s just a good moment when five or six people can get together for pizza and be together.”

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