Facebook stir: Angelina’s pizza out at Glens Falls games

By Cathy DeDe, Chronicle Managing Editor

Is it too much to call it “Pizzagate?”

For 18 years, since Jeff and Greg Aunchman opened Angelina’s Pizza in 2005, the restaurant has supplied the concession stand pizzas for Glens Falls High School sports home games.

They do the same for some Queensbury games, the Glens Falls Greenjackets, and most recently South Glens Falls.

Angelina’s ignited a firestorm of upset when it posted Sept. 26 on Facebook, “We unexpectedly received news today that Glens Falls High School will no longer be serving Angelina’s pizza at school sporting events.”

244 reactions, 45 comments and 16 shareds later the consensus was confusion, outrage, hearts and tears emoji’s.

The Chronicle reached out to the parties to understand — “what happened?”

It appears to be a failure of communication, extra large.

“We don’t want to drag anybody,” Jeff Aunchman tells The Chronicle. “It’s not our favorite thing. We were happy to serve our community and our school, our alma mater, for so many years.”

The twin brothers graduated Glens Falls, class of 2001. Jeff Aunchman said, “I remember going to the school the first time to talk about doing the concessions, and talking to people there who used to be my principals, feeling how proud they were of what we were doing and how important that was to us.”

He says he was at the Sept. 22 community block party and homecoming game celebrating the Varsity Football team’s first home game under the district’s new Friday night lights and it wasn’t their pizza at the game.

On Facebook, Angelina’s recalled their first season, “watching Jimmer Fredette in our hometown gym…while also watching fans eating our pizza.”

Jimmer has famously cited Angelina’s as his favorite hometown pizza.

“Nobody even called to talk to us,” Jeff says.

That’s true, says Nick Taylor, Sr., of the Glens Falls Grandstanders Booster Club, which runs the concessions. He says, “It’s not like the school had a meeting and decided not to use Angelina’s. They’ve been great for a lot of years.”

Last year during basketball season, he says, “Angelina’s let us know they could no longer honor the price with included delivery.”

That was fine for basketball, when the concessions director could pick up the pizzas and even run out for mid-game reorders as needed.

But football is a much bigger slice. The orders are as much as eight times larger, with as many as four re-orders.

Complicating matters for the Sept. 22 game, the Boosters concessions director, who is also a football referee, had been called to ref a game elsewhere.

Mr. Taylor describes the scene:

The Athletic Director, new to the district, is preparing for the game while also working the crowd at the community block party. “The concessions guy is out. Someone has to call and make an order. Angelina’s has told us they can’t deliver.”

In the clinch, the AD orders from Pizza Jerks on Western Avenue, “a block away from the school,” Mr. Taylor observes.

“There’s nothing mean-spirited about this,” he says. “Should we maybe have called Angelina’s? Maybe. Could we have sat down and worked something out? Maybe.

“But then Facebook blew it up. It has nothing to do with the school. I love those guys from Angelina’s. I ordered from them all the time. Could we have worked it out? Probably.” Even over the phone, it’s also clear that Mr. Taylor is shaking his head at the reporter.

“Why are we worried about pizza? With all the scholarships and all that the Boosters do, and we’re just trying to have pizza for the families at the game. We don’t even make any money on it” — $60, he says after that Friday game. “It’s going to make us look bad, or make Angelina’s look bad. I would hope it is a non-issue.”

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