Tiger Town Pizza is ready for its grand opening on April 7.

A goal in education is to have projects that have real world applications. For a group of students at St. John High School, real world application is going to taste pretty good.

The five members of the applied business class at St. John High School had a big commitment in the development and start up of Tiger Town Pizza. Applied business class members are Brianna Banks, Jaden Reed, Liam Lanterman, Cashe McVey and Roger Ramariz.

Their dream is coming true with their grand opening at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 7 at 302 North Main. Their operating hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Monday with closing time Sundays at 8 p.m. They are closed on Tuesdays.

Tiger Town Pizza, owned by St. John/Hudson Enrichment Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit group, will be take-out or dine-in with call-in orders. One of the items on the menu is "The Dean Supreme" named after former St. John student Dean Wade who is a member of the Kansas State University basketball team.

The Lucille M. Hall Museum is next door to the new business location. They own the building and they wanted to do something with it. So they created a pizza board and contacted high school principal Josh Meyer who visited with personal finance and computer application teacher Terra Kinnamon and Family and Consumer Science teacher Susan Patterson to get them on board with the project, Banks said.

Banks said the class had to draw up a template for a working business plan. They wanted their pizza place to be unique. Students had a contest to name the business and Tiger Town Pizza, named for the school mascot, was the winner.

After two months of work, the students presented their plan to a bank and were able to secure an operating note to get the business started. An anonymous donor gave $100,000 that helped make the project a reality, Banks said.

The students entered their project in the Kansas Youth Entrepreneur competition where they presented their business plan and what they had done on the project. The students won $500 and got first in the competition.

The students helped contact food services to get the food necessary to run the business and came up with three sauces. Students had to come up with a unique crust and make presentations for the teachers about their project. They also made presentations to the new grocery store owners and to the community.

The pizza board hired a manager and assistant manager who in turn hired the employees including one student.

The students did a lot of work on the building to get it ready. They helped clean the floors and equipment. The entire building was remodeled with new chairs, a pizza oven, walk-in freezer, new carpet and tile, lights, bathroom vanity, bathroom doors and replaced the table tops with Formica.

Now, everything is in place and Tiger Town Pizza is ready for their grand opening.

@GaleR_Tribune