GOOD NEWS

Pizza Hut Made These Students' Cheesy Dreams Come True

04/23/2015 01:59 pm ET | Updated Apr 23, 2015

There ain't no party like this pizza party.

A group of eighth-graders at Clearview Middle School in New Jersey had been learning about statistics when their math teacher challenged them to come up with ideas for new food products based on data and information they collected, according to Yahoo News. They were also asked to pitch them to companies.

One team, comprised of students Nick Gabriele, Sean Flannery, and Allyson Sooy, came up with a Bacon Mac 'n' Cheese Stuffed Pretzel Crust Pizza, and sent a letter about their idea, along with drawings of their creative food to Pizza Hut, Barbie King, the company's head of new product development told The Huffington Post. On Tuesday, the pizza company's representatives surprised the trio and their class with a pizza party, featuring their idea in two flavors -- cheese and pepperoni.

pizza hut
The students' pitch.

"[There were] lots of smiles and 'oohs' and 'aahs' and screams," King who was involved with organizing the surprise, told HuffPost of the students' reaction to the pizza. "The team of three who created the pizza were truly awestruck that their idea had made it into a real pizza."

The pizza party may have seemed surreal to the students, but according to Doug Terfehr, the company's director of public relations, the group's idea was so impressive, that their pitch made its way to Pizza Hut's CEO, who then shared it and got their chefs involved.

The company then coordinated with the students' teacher, Anne Paoletti-Bayna, to surprise the students.

surprise
Students, upon seeing their surprise.

On the day of the surprise, Terfehr told HuffPost that the students were to take a math test, but were stopped abruptly in the middle of the exam. Nick, Sean and Allyson were called up to the front of the classroom to read a letter sent to them from Pizza Hut, praising them on their inventive pizza and telling them to head down to the school's multipurpose room. Their surprise left them absolutely delighted, Terfehr said. Of course the three students ended up being the "heroes of the day" for getting the rest of the class out of the test, and the opportunity to chow down on some creative pizza was an added bonus.

class
The lucky class.

King said that the company receives many pitches but this particular idea really inspired the company to bring it to life for several reasons.

"This was really unique in the fact that there was a lot of teamwork involved as well as innovation. They were taking four great products and combining them into one -- bacon, mac n' cheese, pretzels and stuffed crust." King told HuffPost. "And it does taste amazing."

pizza
The kids' creation.

Also on HuffPost:

  • 1 #5) New Haven, Connecticut
    Just the fact alone that the tiny city of New Haven is home to America’s best pizza, the white clam pie at the legendary Frank Pepe, is enough to earn it a spot on our list, but Pepe’s just the tip of the iceberg. In New Haven, pizza isn’t pizza, it’s apizza, and it’s thin-crusted, oblong, coal-fired, deeply charred, the crust is chewier thanks to a longer fermentation, and it doesn’t automatically come topped with “mootz.” Head to Pepe’s, Sally’s, or Modern Apizza (each of which have been around since the ‘20s or ‘30s), sample the goods, wash it all down with a Foxon Park soda, and get ready for a life-changing pizza experience. Click Here to More of the World’s Best Cities for Pizza Photo Credit: © Flickr / Mark H. Anbinder
  • 2 #4) Boston, Massachusetts
    In Boston, pizza is a way of life. There’s no such thing as a Boston-style pie, but that’s because they’ve managed to take just about every other regional style, from bar pie to “sauce on top” pies to traditional Neapolitan to square Sicilian, and perfect it. The legendary Santarpio’s puts their sauce on top of the cheese and toppings on the bottom and claims that this is the best way to do it (it would be hard to argue after trying a slice); Regina Pizza serves one of the country’s perfect plain slices; the crust on Picco’s pies is crunchy, chewy, yeasty, and slightly sour (in a good way) and the toppings are all local, organic, and homemade; and at Galleria Umberto the square slices are cheesy and greasy in all the right ways, yet paradoxically light as air. Photo Credit: © Flickr / michelle@TNS
  • 3 #3) Rome, Italy
    Believe it or not, the pizza scene in Rome has only recently taken off, but what a scene it’s become. The Italian capital has found a formula that works — super-high-quality ingredients, creative toppings, and a fine dining-style experience — and they’re milking it for all it’s worth, with incredibly impressive (and lucrative) results. There are still plenty of old-style pizzerias and bakeries serving traditional oblong pizza alla pala, but newcomers like Sforno (serving a paradigm-shifting cacio e pepe pizza); La Gatta Mangiona (supplementing pizzas topped with potato, salmon, mozzarella, and parsley with more than 200 wines and 70 craft beers); Pizzarium (where Rome’s most famous pizzaiolo, Gabriele Bonci, has been creating genius pies topped with items like rabbit, raisins, and fennel greens since 2003); and La Fucina (breaking the mold by pre-slicing their pizzas so diners can sample multiple varieties, like the one topped with flowers, shrimp, mozzarella, and lardo) have turned pizza in Rome from a post-war peasant food to seriously high-class fare. Photo Credit: © Flickr / nekotank Click Here to More of the World’s Best Cities for Pizza
  • 4 #2) Naples, Italy
    Of course, the birthplace of pizza as we know it would rank high on our list. And while it could easily be resting on its laurels and serving mass-produced dreck to flocks of tourists (some places there certainly do), the overall quality level of pizza to be found in Naples is astonishingly high. The most famous pizzerias in Naples have been owned by the same families for generations, and the level of excellence has been meticulously consistent. While places all around the world may claim to serve Neapolitan pizza, there really is nothing like eating one in its birthplace. Here, pizza must be cooked at a super-high temperature in a domed, wood-fired brick oven, taking a minute and a half to cook tops, and the end result is complex, smoky, soft and light, slightly puffy, and sparsely topped, with a slightly soupy center that requires a knife and fork (or if you want it to-go, it can be folded up and eaten off of heavy-duty paper). There’s complex chemistry at play here, and at places like Da Michele, Il Pizzaiolo del Presidente, Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba, and Di Matteo, you’ll get a front-row seat. Photo Credit: © Flickr / atrphoto
  • 5 #1) New York, New York
    New York City: the best pizza town in the world. It was here that pizza found its first foothold in the New World, and also here that the most popular form of pizza — the slice — was invented. Never mind the dollar slice joints or the (still generally very good) corner pizzerias; the truly great slices can be found at the old-school spots like Patsy’s, Totonno’s, Grimaldi’s, and Lombardi’s, where New York-style pizza was invented and still thrives. But pizza in New York doesn’t stop there: you can find flawless Neapolitan-style pies at places like Motorino, Kesté, and Lucali; St. Louis-style pizza at Speedy Romeo, a mind-blowing square slice at L&B Spumoni Gardens, a slice bigger than your head at Koronet, deep-fried pie at Don Antonio by Starita, and fearlessly creative toppings at hotspots like Roberta’s and Paulie Gee’s. If you want to try perfect interpretations of just about any style of pizza known to man, New York is the place to go, and that’s why it’s the best city for pizza in the world. Click Here to More of the World’s Best Cities for Pizza Photo Credit: © Flickr / Katrina Koger
Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS