The story of how Pizza Village came to be is both unusual and fascinating – beginning with the fact that the two founding partners of the restaurant were young friends. In 1971, Glenn Landry and James "Buddy” Tarpley decided that they wanted to open a pizza restaurant. At the time, Buddy was 21 years old and Glenn was 20 – and they actually had to wait until Glenn turned 21to acquire the liquor license and open the restaurant. They found a location for the restaurant on Moss Street in Lafayette, and after months of planning and preparation they opened the doors to Pizza Village in June 1971.
Money was tight, so while both young men worked at the restaurant, Buddy worked a second job to provide additional cash to support them at start-up while Glenn worked additional hours at the restaurant. Both Glenn and Buddy had previously worked in the pizza restaurant business. They were convinced that they could make a different, better kind of pizza.
Glenn and Buddy each brought their own special talents, ideas and a strong work ethic to help their restaurant succeed. In the months before the restaurant opened and in the first few months of operations they developed the original recipes together – focusing first on creating a specialized, crispy crust that was unique to the market. The result was the Pizza Village "cracker crust” recipe, which was formulated through trial and error along with a bit of assistance from a few bakers in the area.
Next came the tomato sauce or "pizza sauce” recipe – which was also developed through trial and error.
Glenn and Buddy continually made adjustments to the sauce, adding this or that, until a final bit of advice from an Italian family member which helped them perfect the recipe. As with our unique cracker crust, our pizza sauce recipe remains unchanged to this day.
Once the recipes were perfected, they began hiring a few high school friends to help out. During the first year that the restaurant was open, the menu included the standards, such as the "Evertything" and the "Pizza Village Special". Our most popular specials, starting with the "Landry Special" which was created by Glenn– and the "Dupe Special" created by a a high school friend both of them eating so much pizza they figured out some of the best combinations. After positive results from customers on these two "specials”, they were eventually added to the menu. Some time later, a frequent customer and a long time employee helped to develop the "Joe Special” when the customer came into the restaurant and simply said, "Surprise me.” The real surprise is that we have served so many of these specialized pizzas over the years that we can't begin to count the amount! Over the years a few additional specials and ingredients have been added to keep up with changing times, however, our traditional specials haven't changed a bit.
Over the years, Pizza Village became an institution – earning a reputation for serving the best pizza in Acadiana. However, after more than 30 years at the same location, Glenn and Buddy decided that they needed a bigger restaurant to better serve their customers. The result was the current Pizza Village restaurant at 1935 Moss Street – built from the ground up and located across the street from the original restaurant site. This new Pizza Village opened in 2003 and continues to thrive.
The Pizza Village story took another twist when Buddy's son, Jamie Tarpley, became a second-generation pizza restaurant owner. In 2012, Jamie opened a second Pizza Village at 2340 Kaliste Saloom Road in Lafayette. Featuring original Pizza Village recipes as well as a variety of new items on the menu, this second location looks to achieve the same success as the original location.
Today, Glenn Landry and Buddy Tarpley continue to oversee the running of their business venture, successful because of hard work, great team members and even better customers. Jamie Tarpley continues the family tradition at the second Pizza Village location with the assistance of Glenn, Buddy and the entire PV Team. Together, they are all dedicated to bringing delicious pizzas, pastas, salads, sandwiches and more to the many families and devoted customers who they love to serve.