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‘Loved Serving’

Panama Pizza Shop Looking For New Owner

Family Night Pizza in Panama will be closing its doors on June 30 if new owners are not found. Those interested in taking over may contact the Miller family at the restaurant, at home, or via Facebook.

PANAMA — A community staple for the last two years in the village of Panama, Family Night Pizza, will close at the end of the month if they are unable to find a new owner.

The business announced via a Facebook post on Tuesday afternoon that the business has become too much for the family and that they are looking for new ownership. The business’s lease ends on June 30, so if no new owner is found by then Family Night Pizza will close.

“It has become too much for the people we have at home,” Dorothy Miller, owner of Family Night Pizza, said. “Hiring was an option but I decided against it because I would still need to be doing all of the paperwork, and the big responsibility would still be on me. At this point in my life I need to be at home.”

Miller said she has four younger boys that are being homeschooled and all of her daughters are older and starting to move away and find their place in the world. Miller said they are all involved in “good stuff” like ministry and that she would not ask them to stay home.

“They dream big and they are finding their dreams,” Miller said. “It’s awesome and I would not keep them here.”

Pictured is Dorothy Miller and one of her daughters, Nettie Miller. The Miller family will be closing their family business, Family Night Pizza, at the end of the month if unable to find new ownership. P-J photo by Sara Holthouse

If someone was interested in taking over the business from the Miller family, Miller said she would look for someone who wants to continue to serve the Panama community, which was the number one priority from the start for Family Night Pizza. She added that they do not expect the new owners to serve the same food that they do or keep the same business name, but they would look for someone who has a priority in serving the community. Additionally, Miller said the Amish business would return to the restaurant if the Millers were no longer involved, which she said would be a great opportunity for new owners. They would also be willing to work with the new owners for a few weeks if needed and give them a deal on the equipment.

Anyone interested in taking over the business can stop by the Miller’s house or Family Night Pizza — 8 W. Main St. — and ask for Miller’s phone number or message the business through their Facebook page.

Miller said she would like to see the business continue under new ownership because of their customer base.

“Our customer base is the number one reason we want to stay open,” Miller said. “I’ve said so many times that 99.9% of the time we have had a good experience with our customers. We see the difference that we can make in this town.”

One difference they have made in the Panama area that Miller said made a big difference was their story about choosing to leave the Amish community. Miller said that she believes the business has impacted the local community in a good way, going off of feedback they have been given. A lot of this impact has been through them working as a family.

“The community sees us working as a family,” Miller said. “We are not perfect but we keep trying to be better. It’s not about us but the people and what God has done for us and the community.”

If the Millers cannot find a new owner for Family Night Pizza they will close at the end of the month. Miller said this has been a very hard choice for them, and that tears have been shed, but the peace of the family and their home life needs to come first.

“The restaurant means so much to us but when it starts disrupting the family life then there is more stress than benefit to the family unit,” Miller said. “As much as we want to continue serving the community, family and home life needs to come first.”

As for what comes next for the Miller family; Miller said one of her daughters is teaching in Kentucky, and another is working at the Athenaeum Hotel with Chautauqua Institution. She has twins that are currently in Ohio. For Miller herself, besides educating her four youngest boys she plans on continuing to serve the local Panama community in different ways.

“I have a plan where I want to keep serving the community by doing odd jobs and being available to anyone who may need help,” Miller said. “I may have to bring the boys sometimes, but the purpose is to teach them to serve others.”

More than anything, Miller said the family has loved serving their customers and the Panama community since they opened on Oct 14, 2022.

“We want to thank our loyal customers,” Miller said. “We appreciate you more than you will ever know. You have given us as a family an experience that we would not trade for anything and we have loved serving you.”

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