River City Pizza in Otis Orchards has plenty of loyal customers, but Eric Miller and his family top the list.
The family, who has held a weekly pizza night tradition for more than 12 years, recently placed their 700th order with River City Pizza and Miller became the restaurant’s first inductee into its “700 Club.”
The restaurant surprised him with a T-shirt last week.
“He is someone we all look forward to seeing during the week and notice if we don’t,” said Jacqueline Barnard, owner of River City Pizza in a Facebook post. “We appreciate his business, but more so, we appreciate how kind he and his wife are to all of us every time they stop in.”
Barnard said few weeks ago, an employee noticed that Miller had placed 694 pizza orders and was on the way to 700 orders.
“So, we came up with the idea that we should make him a T-shirt that said, ‘Welcome to the 700 Club’,” she said. “He was super excited. They are a really wonderful family. It was the exact reaction we wanted.”
Miller and wife, Jenna, got the idea for weekly pizza nights from friends, who had a pizza tradition of their own.
“My wife and I were impressed with that and when our kids got older, we said, ‘let’s do pizza night’,” he said.
Miller said River City Pizza quickly became a family favorite.
“Once we found them, they had reasonable prices and we decided they would be our main go-to,” he said, adding they sometimes ordered from Little Caesars Pizza. “But, for the most part, we kept coming back to River City.”
River City Pizza was founded more than two decades years ago by former owners John and Bridgette Tiffany. Barnard and husband, Phillip, purchased the restaurant in 2016, which is known for its fresh dough and cheese that’s grated in-house.
“We’re a local, family-owned business,” Barnard said. “Our employees are East Valley High School students. We’re super-involved in the community and so thankful for all of our business, especially customers like Eric who keep coming back and is so loyal.”
Miller said weekly pizza night is a family bonding moment, and they’ll often pick out movies to watch together.
“We try to make sure it’s all of us and we’re all together,” he said, encouraging people to make quality time with family a priority. “We all have busy lives, but we should make time for those things that matter most to us.”
Miller, who has participated in more than 18 half-marathons, will be wearing the River City Pizza “700 Club” shirt in his next race.
The family plans to carry on its weekly pizza night tradition.
“We have no plan on stopping as long as they are open and we’re living local,” he said. “We hope to keep the tradition alive.”
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