Aubree’s crowned best pizza for second consecutive year

Chelsea Birdsall

On Monday, Nov. 17, the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and the Culinary Students of Northern Michigan University (CSNMU) worked together to hold the Third Annual Hometown Pizza Taste-Off.


This year competitors included Pizza Hut, Toarmina’s, Jet’s, Domino’s, Aubree’s, Pasquali’s, Tino’s and Dry Dock and each restaurant donated 15 pizzas. The first place winner was Aubree’s, which also won last year. Second place was a tie between Pizza Hut and Dry Dock and third place was Jet’s.

Mike Koziara, the bar manager from Aubree’s, said the restaurant was honored to win two years in a row and enjoys competing each year.

“It feel like it’s a true name to the product that we serve,” Koziara said. “We really like to take part in community events and we’re really trying to be a community restaurant.”

According to Abbie Beekman, the PRSSA vice president of public relations, the event is held to bring both students and community members together.

“It raises awareness of our organization and also raises money for an organization or group that we give it to,” Beekman said.

Savannah Mallo, PRSSA vice president of the treasury, said this year, the money raised is being donated to the Salvation Army’s Adopt-A-Family program to help during the upcoming holiday season.

“Rather than simply donating the money and never knowing how it is used, we wanted to use the money to help support families during Christmas by buying them specific items they need,” Mallo said.

Beekman said this year had as large of a turn-out as in the past years. She said they made nearly $700 during the one hour event with a rate at $30 per minute for the first 20 minutes. Beekman said the event ran smoothly and had strong student feedback.

“We had great feedback and one student even made the remark that this was her favorite event since she had been at NMU,” Beekman said.

Mallo said this year went smoother because of changes they made to the event that had been a problem in the years prior. PRSSA changed the time from two hours to one hour this year and asked for competitors to donate 15 pizzas instead of 10, because they ran out within the first hour last year.

They also used colored toothpicks to make it easier to distinguish the pizzas for voting purposes.

Mallo said the event could not have run so smoothly if it was not for the volunteers.

“Members in our chapter really stepped up and came early to prepare for the event and just made the whole thing run smoothly,” Mallo said.

Junior community health education major Genna McKenna attended the taste-off and thought the event went very well.

“It was great to see community members and students come together in the name of pizza,” McKenna said. “Although all the pizza was delicious, the very best part was the dessert pizza.”