Our Story

Pudgie's® Pizza, Pasta & Subs opened its first pizza and sub operation in Elmira, N.Y. in April of 1963. The Founder of Pudgie's®, Michael P. Cleary, Sr., also founded Pudgie's® Pizza Franchising Corp. in 1972 and M.P. Cleary, Inc. in 1989. Success did not come easily. Hard work and ingenuity, plus perseverance, were the basic elements which laid the foundation for the success of Pudgie's®.

Pudgie's® Pizza is indeed a success. The reason for this success is very basic. A large vacuum existed in the fast food industry. Pudgie's® helped fill it with quality food at a reasonable price. Pudgie's® gave the public Value, Quality & Service. For the year ended 1975, Pudgie's® 12 pizza units showed gross sales in excess of $5,000,000, which was impressive sales volume at that time, particularly for such a young food chain.

Due to the Founder's untimely passing in 1990, all of Pudgie's® locations eventually became non-franchised locations. The Founder left behind his wife, Rosa, and sons Michael Jr., David, John and Robert to carry on the family tradition. From 1990 to the present, the family has owned and operated the Elmira "Southside" location, as well as other locations in N.Y. and PA. Notably, "Southside Pudgie's®" is Pudgie's® single most successful location and the area's Premier Pizzeria. The Cleary family has long been known to be leaders in the pizza industry, just as their Founder was before them.

Management of Pudgie's® is convinced that in a short time Pudgie's® will be a major force, once again, THROUGHOUT THE FOOD SERVICE INDUSTRY. The reason for this confidence is very simple. In the beginning, Pudgie's® had nothing but ambition and desire; the major ingredients needed for growth and prosperity. Today, Pudgie's® retains the ambition and desire and has a strong organization that is thoroughly educated in the fast food industry. Pudgie's® pizza will grow smartly because Pudgie's® has the ability to fulfill a very basic need in an unfulfilled industry.

Many people today who are buying takeout are eating away from home more than ever before. Pizza popularity has skyrocketed and, in the past few years, the growth of pizza sales nationwide has been phenomenal. Pizza is today, without a doubt, one of the country's top selling fast foods.

David and Robert Cleary


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