Mother-daughter duo purchases Ha Ha Pizza: ‘We’re looking forward to writing our own chapter here’

B.J. Walters, former owner of Ha Ha Pizza in Yellow Springs, has officially passed the torch to a new set of owners after being part of the restaurant for 25 years.

Karen and Megan McDonald, a mother-daughter team from the Fairborn and Enon area, purchased the restaurant at the end of June.

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

“We’ve always been on the lookout for something more brick-and-mortar where we can open up and do it all year round,” Karen said. “Then we saw this and everybody loves Ha Ha. It has been here since the ‘70s so we thought it was a great opportunity.”

Karen, who is from Fairborn, said they previously owned a food truck called “Cookie Mayhem.” For about two years, they were able to share their love of baking with the community at local fairs and events.

“Baking has always been our love, but we love pizza too,” Karen said.

“This came along, and it was time to take a leap,” said Megan who is from Enon.

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Ha Ha Pizza had been on the market for four to five years, but many people did not know until Walters put a sign on the building earlier this year.

“The reason why nobody knew was because I didn’t want anybody to know,” Walters previously said. “I wanted to choose who the buyer was.”

Walters explained he wanted somebody local to take over, but after feeling like he had burned through that option, he opened it up to everyone.

He told Dayton.com on Wednesday he chose the McDonalds because they had the experience. He also thought they would be a great fit for the community. He added because they are a mother-daughter team, he felt they would be there for each other for many years to come.

“They have some ideas they let me in on that I think are going to be good and I can’t wait to see what they do,” Walters said.

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

The McDonalds said they are keeping everything the same that is already at the restaurant including the crust, sauce, toppings and salad bar.

Megan noted they plan to have specialty pizzas every week or every other week. Ideas could include a bacon cheeseburger pizza or a pizza topped with peaches.

“There’s a lot of stuff in the works,” Megan said.

They are also planning to bring back subs and slices of pizza, she added.

In addition, Ha Ha Pizza is actively hiring so they can expand their hours and add DoorDash and delivery. Anyone interested can apply via Facebook or pick up an application at the pizza shop.

The former owner isn’t going far from the pizza shop. Walters is now working right next door at Peach’s Grill in the front of the house.

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“It got me back to what I like doing in the restaurant industry rather than what I have to do,” Walters said.

The new owners said they look forward to carrying on the legacy of Ha Ha Pizza. They are also very appreciative of their employees that have helped them in the transition.

“Yellow Springs is such a great community and they support all of their local restaurants,” Karen said. “We had their backing. When we closed (the deal) people were coming in, congratulating us and wanting to meet us. It has been an awesome experience.”

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

“I think we’re looking forward to writing our own chapter here,” Megan added.

The McDonalds also stated plans to repaint the dining room and feature a local artist. They hope to have a contest soon in which artists can submit their artwork, the community will vote for their favorite and the artist will ultimately paint the mural.

Ha Ha Pizza, located at 108 Xenia Avenue in Yellow Springs, is open 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and noon to 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

For the latest information about Ha Ha Pizza, visit the restaurant’s new Facebook page (@hahapizzays).

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