The smell of fresh pizza and hot wings fill the air when you walk in, making you salivate at the mouth with hunger. You hear music softly in the background and the television talking about sports.

PizzaManiac is located in the heart of Vista and is open everyday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Every customer is met with a smile and hug from owner Ben Phillips, which at first seems very odd, as you wouldn’t typically see this kind of relationship between the customer and the owner.

When talking with Phillips about PizzaManiac and his goals for investing into the community, Phillips said, “The shop has been open for about three years, and I do as much as I can for the neighborhood/community that I grew up in. I’m always out and about in the community and help it out anyway I can. I donate a lot of food products to schools around the community and just try and take care of everyone that I know.”

It is easy to go to a large chain, and to some it feels more convenient. So, why choose PizzaManiac over all the other big major pizza companies such as Dominos, Pizza Hut and Little Caesars.

“I pride myself in making sure that I produce the best pizza I can produce. I enjoy what I do and I simply just want to make sure and give people good food. I also want to do things that other people aren’t doing. Make myself stand out to the public as being a guy that you can come to to ask for anything. I love helping people,” Phillips said.

PizzaManiac was voted on Yelp as the 87th best restaurant in the country, as of 2018. That’s a pretty big accomplishment, considering the short amount of time the shop has been open. “I’m very proud of this accomplishment and I will continue to try and change the food industry and do things that other people aren’t doing. I want the community to know that I have their back and we are a family, and I will do whatever I can to make sure that PizzaManiac helps out in any way,” Phillips said.

In summer of 2018, Vista Little League had their snack bar broken into and Phillips replenished their snack bar by replacing around $600 worth of food. “I was approached by them many times before in the past asking for my help, but I never really had the extra money to put up even though I really wanted to, so I felt that now that the business is doing great that this was my time to finally give back, which I did, and I plan on helping other people who need my help,” Phillips explained.

Manager Jr. Arenas has been working at PizzaManiac for about a year, but has years of experience in the pizza industry. Arenas feels that working for Phillips can be described in simply one word: ‘interesting.’

“I’ve worked at a lot of pizza shops and I’d have to say that this one is the best. The vibe that the place gives makes the customer feel very welcomed and make them want to keep coming back for not only the food, but the service that we all provide,” Arenas said.

He loves working for PizzaManiac, because he gets to serve people that are someone in the community and if they aren’t having the best day, they know at least they can come here and get amazing service and food.

Employee, Cole Miller explained why he loves working at PizzaManiac stating, “It’s great working here, I’d have to say that we’re a high quality and high standard place. There is absolutely no slacking off and the food’s really good, so it’s always fun to make good food. Ben’s pretty flexible with us, when he isn’t here he puts me and Jr. in charge, so its kinda cool being top dog and there’s a lot to learn here. I’ve been here for about nine months and plan on continuing until something better comes across my way. We also get free pizza which is also a plus.”

PizzaManiac is a place in the community where Phillips shows his love for the people through his love of a good pizza.