In 1972, Robert Bachelor opened the Melting Pot in Front Royal, Virginia, despite knowing nothing about pizza. Now, over 40 years later the whole country knows about his pizza shop.
“Just kept leaning against it and I never had the year that wasn’t bigger than the year previous,” said Bachelor.
When the business started he could count the number of employees he had on one hand.
And now the shop has over 60 full and part-time employees — including his son Elliott, who grew up in the shop, went away to college and returned to be the Melting Pot’s general manager.
“I know every friend always enjoyed birthday parties at the melting pot and every now and then my parents would bring pizza in for the class so that made me pretty popular in elementary school and middle school,” said Elliott.
Now he and the shop are even more popular. Using the tens of thousands of ratings added daily by diners on its review site, Trip Advisor has named the top-rated pizzerias in every state. And the Melting Pot snagged the title of best pizza in Virginia.
“I called dad and I let him know immediately, it was just so surreal.” he says.
“The Trip Advisor one, really said something to me and it was the same feeling I had when that guy told me that I would be very successful and I said wow, I did get there,” said Robert.
Featured restaurants have a minimum of four out of five bubbles and 100 reviews, the Melting Pot has over 200 reviews, a lot of them being from loyal customers like Chuckie Sperry, who came to the shop as a kid and now brings his own.
“It’s so good, it’s a family owned restaurant you feel like you’re apart of the family and the food is great,” said Sperry.
The Bachelors say in the near future, they plan to share the best pizza in the state with even more people.
“We’d love to be able to take care of people all around the valley, and have shops set up all up and down 81,” said Elliott.
The Bachelor’s say this recognition is so special to them because it was the customers whose votes and reviews made it possible.