A behind the scenes look at Canyon Pizza

Video posted December 13, 2011 in News by Julianna O'Malley


From scandalous pizza orders to curb side havoc, Josh Rios shares the ins and outs of the legendary "dollar-a-slice" hot spot for all of Penn State -- Canyon Pizza.

Rios is a 25-year-old  Philadelphia native and former Bank of America State College employee, who says he found a place at Canyon after he was laid off due to a shut down of the calling center. After looking around for his best opportunity to make money and stay out of trouble, Rios said Canyon appeared to be just that.

"For the job opportunity as far as being a driver, there are a lot of tips that can be made. So I decided to go that rout," said Rios.

Rios also works within the restaurant during the day taking orders, preparing food and completing tasks that help prepare for each evening.

"It is not a difficult job at all. It is just tedious and a lot of time, believe it or not, does go into it," said Rios.

During the day, Rios prepares the dough, mixes sauces, works the counter, takes orders and assures everything is in order for the night shift, which is when things get a little interesting. Hundreds of students and State College locals make the evening stop at Canyon post party, bar or even just as a social gathering.

"You have drunk kids left and right, kids trippin' off of Adderol, or whatever your drug of choice is. So it is an interesting change of pace," Rios said.

Although any given night at Canyon provides for a high energy environment filled with entertainment, the delivery cars are magnets for the occasional mischief and defacement.

Students are known to vandalize Rios' car while at work with their trash: pizza, plates, ranch, and drinks. However, matters have also gone out of control.

"There was an article in the Collegian about a girl who got a DUI as well as an unauthorized use of a motorized vehicle... well yeah, that was my car," said Rios.

A Penn State student broke into Rios car parked outside of Canyon after drinking at a bar and caused several damages to his vehicle. Understanding of the humor behind the act, Rios said he dropped the charges after he found out that the student was a female.

Through all of the late nights and people watching, the staff at Canyon has an established relationship. Although they are all from different backgrounds and personalities, they have an unenviable friendship and bond.

Ryan Gaffney, a coworker of Rios and fellow driver, said that one day many of his Canyon friends could be in his wedding.

"You know, we put up with a lot together. And these guys could very well be around for a while," said Gaffney.

Making the Dollar Slice


Chris Hartman shares Canyon's secret recipe and ingredients to the infamous Canyon Pizza Dollar Slice.