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Not Just Pretty Faces

We Are Family

At Toppers, we’re a family. Sure the term, “we’re a family” has been tossed around like a fresh ball of dough, but how many really mean it? We spend our time together at the Toppers World Headquarters in Whitewater, Wisconsin. Here we share in our collective 60 years in the pizza business. All that experience has created a true passion for our pizza. We’re all about the connection it plays in our life. And when asked if we could share a pie with anyone living or dead, everyone had the same response: Our family. That sure says a lot, considering Marilyn Monroe wasn’t a member of any of our families.

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Scott Gittrich

Scott Gittrich – President & Founder

  • Philosophy
  • Fun Facts

What is pizza? Is it just food? Or is it a connection we as humans share with one another? Scott’s got some serious existential views when it comes to pizza. Maybe that’s what happens when you spend most of your life in the food business. His love of pizza is stuff of legends. He’s gone nearly 60 days having eaten at least one meal from Toppers. For Scott, it’s water, oxygen, pizza. And yes, if he were a pizza, he’d eat himself.

Where were you August 25th, 1991?

Scott was busy opening the first Toppers. Thus beginning the stretch of most consecutive days eating pizza.

Who’s your favorite superhero?
Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. He proves that it’s all about the choices that you make.
If you were a menu item, which one would you be?
Jalapenos. Add me to anything and I’ll have an effect.
What was your pet growing up?
My little brother, Joel
What did you want to be when you were young?
Astronaut and baseball player
What’s your favorite adult beverage?
Double tall no foam latte
How many days in a row could you eat Toppers?
I have eaten Toppers 5 meals in a row in the last month. I ate pizza for a week when my wife left me in charge of the kids while she visited a friend. Toppers opened on August 25, 1991, and I didn’t have a day off until some time in October; I feel certain I had Toppers every day during that stretch; that was about 60 days. How many could I go... pizza is just one step away from air and water for me; I could eat it every day forever if there weren’t just so many other great tastes out there!
Are you willing to bet on it?
Of course
If you could split a pizza with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Robin, my best friend and wife
Have you ever stiffed a delivery guy?
Get a grip, of course not. I’ve been in the food business since I was 15. I respect our work too much. One time in college though, I didn’t answer the phone when the Pizza World guy was trying to get me to come downstairs at my dorm. He eventually brought it up to me like I intended... and I gave him a good tip!
If you were a pizza, would you eat yourself? Explain.
I probably would because I’m just freaky like that. I’m afraid I’ve tried most things, many not very healthy, so I don’t know why I would stop now.
What is your favorite pizza memory?
Holy smokes, this is a book. The first thing that comes to mind is my dad sending me a card that had a picture of a pizza on the front and he wrote something like “let’s have one together” on the inside. That captures for me the idea of pizza and the wonderful contribution we make as pizza people. It’s not just food, it’s a connection between the people that share one.
Scott Iversen

Scott Iversen – Vice President of Marketing

  • Philosophy
  • Fun Facts

Having never given up his dreams of playing baseball, Scott still plays to this day, looking for a major league call-up. Hoping that one day, a major league scout will happen upon his beer league softball game and think, “I haven’t seen a swing like that since the Babe.” In the meantime, Scott enjoys sipping on margaritas and reminiscing about his buddy flying over the handlebars of a moped while delivering a pizza. The moped was trashed, but the pizza remained intact. Talk about a true Hall of Famer.

Where you at?

Scott’s the marketing guru of all things Toppers.

Who’s your favorite superhero?
Scooby Doo! And yes, he is totally a superhero. I mean how else do you explain how he gets people to cater to his every need and give him snacks. He gets to cruise around in a pimped-out van, hang out with two cool chicks, a stoner, and, well, Fred, too. He’s a super genius!
If you were a menu item, which one would you be?
The “COOL” C-B-R of course! I mean it is cool and well...okay you got me...maybe I’m just a plain cheese pizza. Oh wait, probably extra cheese – I am the marketing guy after all.
What was your pet growing up?
“Cats, rats, elephants and as sure as you’re born, the loveliest of them all the unicorn” as said so eloquently by my friends the Swing Crew.
What did you want to be when you were young?
I totally thought I would be the greatest baseball player that ever lived. Now I’m hoping not to get cut from the over 30 year old softball beer league. I wouldn’t be able to handle a year in the minors of that league!
What’s your favorite adult beverage?
Nothing beats a good margarita or long island iced tea while kickin’ back with friends by the lake. However any icy cold beer on either a blazing hot or freezing cold day is almost a must for any true Wisconsinite.
How many days in a row could you eat Toppers? Are you willing to bet on it?
I’m pretty sure I could eat it every day for a year. Am I willing to bet on it? Hell yeah bring it on, I’ll be happy to take your money.
If you could split a pizza with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
This seems like a weird question. I’m not sharing my pizza with anyone! IT’S MINE! Really, besides my lovely wife, I’d have to say bring back any poor soul that died before experiencing the yummy goodness of Toppers.
Have you ever stiffed a delivery guy?
Sadly, I have to admit yes. I do it all the time. WHAT!!! Are you kidding me, hell no! You never stiff the delivery dude (or dudette). They are the source of all things good. You’ve got to take good care of those guys!
If you were a pizza, would you eat yourself? Explain.
After many hours of contemplation on this one I’d have to say no. I mean seriously if I ate myself I’d cease to exist. If I were gone I wouldn’t be able to spend valuable time answering questions like this. Now wait, am I forever renewable pizza? If I ate a piece of myself and grew back then hell yes!
What is your favorite pizza memory?
Seeing my friend wreck his moped while trying to drive and carry some za. He hit a curb and flew over the handlebars with pizza in hand. He landed face first in the yard but still holding the pizza perfectly level. He'll always be the champ for that save!
Mark Watt

Mark Watt – Franchise Operations Director

  • Philosophy
  • Fun Facts

Mark would bet his mortgage on the fact that he could eat pizza an indefinite amount of meals in a row. Maybe this is one of the topics he can discuss while sharing a pizza with Plato. Or maybe they can discuss the philosophy behind a universe where humans could be made of pizza and eat themselves as long as the parts regenerate. Yep, that sure sounds like a subject Plato could tackle.

Did you know?

If you were to stiff the delivery guy in Mark’s presence, there’s a good chance he’ll punch your lights out.

Who’s your favorite superhero?
Captain Morgan. What do you mean he’s not a superhero?
If you were a menu item, which one would you be?
A BYO Pizza because I am an original.
What was your pet growing up?
A dog, three cats, and an imaginary creature named Fred that followed me around every day.
What did you want to be when you were young?
A Jedi Knight
What’s your favorite adult beverage?
Captain Morgan & Coke
How many days in a row could you eat Toppers? Are you willing to bet on it?
How much are we talking? I have a mortgage to pay!
If you could split a pizza with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Jesus Christ & Plato
Have you ever stiffed a delivery guy?
No. Stiffing the Delivery Guy is a mortal sin.
If you were a pizza, would you eat yourself? Explain.
Sure. If I was a talking, thinking, typing pizza, then the normal rules of the universe would not apply. In this parallel universe I would be able to eat myself repeatedly & then regenerate my missing pieces. If only that were truly the case, I could use a few new parts...
What is your favorite pizza memory?
The sheer pleasure of eating a Well Done Pepperoni Special with Extra Sauce in my early Domino’s days... before I had eaten that pizza so many times that I couldn’t eat it anymore...
Kendall Richmond

Kendall Richmond – Chief Financial Officer

  • Philosophy
  • Fun Facts

Who is Kendall Richmond? Kendall was literally born to be a CFO, as he’s dreamed of being the coolest accountant on earth since he was a little boy. Crunching the numbers and balancing the books at Toppers takes the heart of a champion. That’s why Kendall cites marathon legend Steve Prefontaine as the one person he’d love to share Toppers with. Kendall says he could eat Toppers 50 days in a row and includes $1 for every additional day after. Is that slightly confusing? It is to me. But as Kendall is CFO, I’m sure it would make him some money down the road.

Does Kendall advise delivering Toppers in a Jaguar XJ8?

No. He did it once before and a lady took back her tip after seeing the car he was driving.

Who’s your favorite superhero?
The Lone Ranger (he hunted pheasants at my grandfather’s farm every year) or Mighty Mouse because who wouldn’t want to go around saying "here I come to save the day"
If you were a menu item, which one would you be?
Dippin’ sauce, you have to love choices and variety
What was your pet growing up?
My Irish setters Pre and Lasse (not named after that other famous dog Lassie)
What did you want to be when you were young?
An accountant, my real desire though was to be cool
What’s your favorite adult beverage?
BEER!!!! So many to choose from and one day I will have tried them all
How many days in a row could you eat Toppers?
50
Are you willing to bet on it?
Yes but only if the bet included 1 dollar for every additional day over
If you could split a pizza with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Steve Prefontaine, I have always been a competitive runner and he is such an inspiration to the sport.
"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift."
Have you ever stiffed a delivery guy?
NO!!!!
If you were a pizza, would you eat yourself? Explain.
Yes, because who wouldn’t eat pizza
What is your favorite pizza memory?
When I was delivering pizzas for another company I was driving a friends Jaguar XJ8 and the lady actually took back her tip when she saw the car I was driving. Needless to say I started driving my own car after that.
Chris Cheek

Chris Cheek – Chief Development Officer

  • Philosophy
  • Fun Facts

If you’ve got an affinity for Jed Clampett, have never, ever considered stiffing a delivery driver and could eat Toppers Pizza 20 days in a row, well, you might just be Chris Cheek, Topper’s Chief Development Officer. But if you’re not Chris Cheek, you may not know that he’s the man responsible for leading teams to recruit new franchisees, identifying great new Toppers Pizza locations and much, much more. A little-known fact: He’d love to split a pizza with golf great and family man Jack Nicklaus. And who knows, maybe while sharing a slice or two Jack could help Chris correct his own golf slice. We kid.

Did you know?

Chris believes that if everything came with bacon, the world would be a better place. Now that’s something we can get on board with.

Who’s your favorite superhero?
Jed Clampett. Struck oil (“Texas tea”), became a millionaire, moved to Beverly Hills but through it all he remained humble, honest, family oriented and continuously amazed by and appreciative of the simple things in life.
If you were a menu item, which one would you be?
BaconStix. Everyone loves bacon. Everything is better with bacon.
What was your pet growing up?
I grew up on a farm, so cows, pigs, chickens, dogs, cats or goats. I think we even had a few rabbits at one time.
What did you want to be when you were young?
A professor. I loved the show Gilligan’s Island, and The Professor was able to solve any problem … except for some reason he couldn’t plug a hole in the S.S. Minnow.
What’s your favorite adult beverage?
Depends on the time of year. Spring through summer is Chardonnay season. Fall through Winter is Cabernet season. The exception being that Saturdays and Sundays during football season are Pale Ale days.
How many days in a row could you eat Toppers? Are you willing to bet on it?
20. Depends on what Vegas sets as the over/under.
If you could split a pizza with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Jack Nicklaus. Because he became the greatest golfer to ever play the game without sacrificing being a great husband and father.
Have you ever stiffed a delivery guy?
Negative.
If you were a pizza, would you eat yourself? Explain.
Topped with Bacon, yes. See above answer. Everything is better with bacon.
What is your favorite pizza memory?
Almost every late night pizza eaten in college. Back then, life was simpler, friends were always around, you felt invincible and my metabolism worked at a faster rate.
Beth Larson

Beth Larson – Office & Franchise Services Manager

  • Philosophy
  • Fun Facts

It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it. Yep, R&D at Toppers is one of those tasks that Beth’s always up for tackling. When she’s not knee-deep in pizza research, she keeps her passion for all things dramatic alive. She’s got an open bet with anyone willing to pony up 10 bucks that she'll eat pizza 10 days in a row.

How Shakespearean?

Beth was once an aspiring actress.

Who’s your favorite superhero?
Incredible Hulk – he’s buff!
If you were a menu item, which one would you be?
For sure Topperstix – I can be cheezy.
What was your pet growing up?
Dogs & cats
What did you want to be when you were young?
An actress – and I still love drama.
What’s your favorite adult beverage?
White Russian OR just about anything "strawberry"
How many days in a row could you eat Toppers? Are you willing to bet on it?
10 bucks says 10 days
If you could split a pizza with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
My kiddos – you know...“FAMILIES, friends and fanatics for food and fun.”
Have you ever stiffed a delivery guy?
NO WAY!
If you were a pizza, would you eat yourself? Explain.
That’s cannibalism.
What is your favorite pizza memory?
It’s most of the R&D (research & development) testing days here at the office – what a job!
Chuck Kappes

Chuck Kappes – Director of Construction and Facilities

  • Philosophy
  • Fun Facts

Who is Chuck Kappes? Chuck is helping us take over the world, literally. He’s using his head, hands and heart to build Toppers from the foundation to the Crown. Though Chuck’s favorite superhero is Superman, we see him as our Superman. Chuck’s willing to bet he could eat Toppers for a month straight, as long as he’s able to wash it down with quality dark beer and share it with the writer of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson.

Did Chuck want to be a Giraffe when he was young?

Nope. Race car driver.

Who’s your favorite superhero?
I grew up with the original Batman and Superman, but I believe I would go with Superman.
If you were a menu item, which one would you be?
Italian Sausage and Pepper Grinder
What did you want to be when you were young?
A race car driver
What was your pet growing up?
I was petless.
What’s your favorite adult beverage?
Dark Beer
How many days in a row could you eat Toppers?
I am quite sure I could do 30 days.
Are you willing to bet on it?
Yes
If you could split a pizza with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Thomas Jefferson
Have you ever stiffed a delivery guy?
Not to my knowledge
If you were a pizza, would you eat yourself? Explain.
No
What is your favorite pizza memory?
Family outing to a local pizza restaurant in Moorhead, MN as a kid, it is still operating (Duane’s Pizza).
Matt Martin

Matt Martin – Franchise Training Leader

  • Philosophy
  • Fun Facts

If Will Ferrell were cast to play a Christian Bale-esque Batman, equipped with a pizza and ranch utility belt, and were Burt Reynolds his sidekick, you’d begin to get an idea of our Franchise Training Leader, Matt Martin. Matt is a pizza fanatic who loves animals almost as much as he loves pizza. Going to unbelievable lengths to make sure everyone at Toppers understands just what Toppers Pizza is all about—even sporting a dress in training videos—Matt’s commitment to Toppers is only outweighed by his insatiable love for pizza.

Did you know?

Matt’s dress-wearing alter ego is named Pearl.

Who’s your favorite superhero?
Probably Batman. And not the Michael Keaton, George Clooney, Val Kilmer or soon-to-be Batman, Ben Affleck. I’m talking about the Dark Knight, Christian Bale Batman—complete badass!
If you were a menu item, which one would you be?
Topperstix. Topperstix are the bee’s knees, and who doesn’t want to be the bee’s knees?!?
What was your pet growing up?
Many different pets: a bunny, guinea pigs, rats, dogs and a hamster. Yeah, it was a zoo …
What did you want to be when you were young?
Haha, a veterinarian. I guess that’s no surprise, considering the last answer.
What’s your favorite adult beverage?
I’m an IPA or Jack-and-Coke kind of guy.
How many days in a row could you eat Toppers? Are you willing to bet on it?
Let me put it this way. Challenge me and you’ll lose because I could eat pizza every single day. I’d bet my life on that. But then again, we’d both be eating pizza so I guess that’d make us both winners, right? Absolutely.
If you could split a pizza with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Burt fu*king Reynolds!
Have you ever stiffed a delivery guy?
Hell no. I’ve got mad respect for my delivery brethren.
If you were a pizza, would you eat yourself? Explain.
I know I would. I’d smother myself in pizza sauce and ranch … I’d be delicious.*
* If you love Will Ferrell on Saturday Night Live, you’ll understand this response.
What is your favorite pizza memory?
Um, all of them. Every single taste, bite, sniff, whiff, piece, dip, order, seconds, thirds, fourths, “ok, this is my last piece … just kidding” memory I’ve ever had.
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