Mason’s Big League Pizza is a major hit

BELLAIRE – Roger and Terry Mason can’t believe it’s been a year since they opened Mason’s Big League Pizza in Bellaire. It has been a labor of love and commitment to providing the best quality product to their customers.

The carryout and delivery business is located across the street from the Dream Acre Motel, in back of the Farm Bureau Insurance building on M-88. Formerly a credit union facility, the Masons built the kitchen facility from scratch and added a deck for outdoor seating.

The name “Big League Pizza” has an added significance; Roger played professional baseball for 16 years, five of which were in the major leagues.

“I started in the majors as a pitcher with Detroit in 1984 and then went on to San Francisco, Houston and Pittsburgh. Arm surgery effectively ended my career,” he said.

Throughout Roger’s baseball career, Terry and their children continued to live in Bellaire. She recalls, “It was great to be able to stay in the area. When the kids were out of school, we would then join Roger on the road.”

The memories of those years are still evident in small ways. Besides the name, the business logo is a baseball diamond and is printed on the pizza boxes and the shirts they wear.

So how did a major league baseball pitcher work into the pizza business? Roger didn’t hesitate to answer. “I love pizza. When we decided to do this I wanted to use the best recipe anywhere. My brother-in-law has a bar and restaurant in Clawson in the Detroit area. His recipe is one of the two best in the country. Then I studied the market and did a lot of research into the ingredients. Everything is homemade, the sauce, the dough–even the cheeses are hand grated.”

Roger and Terry are picky about the products that go into everything they make. They use a fresh pack tomato product for the sauce, top of the line cheese, and bake the pizza in a traditional oven. The buffalo wings are also a specialty. “We spent two summers in Buffalo and got the greatest wing recipe in the world.”

Salads, subs and burgers round out the menu.

The staff has grown over the past year and children Amy, 15, and Jeff, 19, help out. Donna Buckwheat also works with the Mason family and is described by Roger as “the boss and an inspiration. We could not be as successful without her.”

When asked to sum up their vision, Roger responded, “We want this to be more than just a restaurant. We want a place of ministry, of opportunities to share with people. We would not turn away someone in need of a meal.”

The Masons have combined their love and commitment for the area with a sound business direction and top notch product. It is proving to be a winning combination. BIZNEWS