Jenny Findley has been working at downtown pizza shop, Roman's Pizza, since 1989 -- when she was still in high school.

Jenny Findley has been working at downtown pizza shop, Roman's Pizza, since 1989 -- when she was still in high school.

It was her first job.

At the time, it never crossed her mind that she would one day own the shop.

After graduating from Canal Winchester High School, Findley went to the Ohio State University to study finance. Later, she said she wanted to make a living as a house-flipper.

But her destiny apparently lay in pizza.

The original owner, P.J. Romanowski, decided more than two years ago that he wanted to sell his pizza shop.

"It's just too good a food to sell it to someone who's not going to take care of it," Romanowski said. "I brag her up to everybody."

Findley gave up her ambition with real estate.

"I looked at his books and I was amazed at how much this small pizza shop made," she said.

Findley started learning everything about making pizza at Roman's from scratch. Mixing the dough, chopping the lettuce, grilling the sausage, these were all things she never did while working as a regular employee.

"Anything to do with recipes, we were not allowed to learn," she said. "It was top secret."

The recipes for the pizza were all handed down from Romanowski's cousin who used to own a pizza shop in Detroit.

Since taking over the shop, Findley said she made a few changes, but nothing drastic.

The shop was given an overhaul to make it look brighter inside. Findley also added a few items to the menu, started delivery service, lunch and advertising.

"You've got to keep up with your competition or you're going to be left behind," she said.

Recently, Roman's Pizza was made the official caterer of the Canal Winchester Art and Music in the Park event.

But there's one thing that won't change.

"You'll never see a conveyor belt oven in this shop," she said.

At Roman's, pizzas are baked in one of three stone ovens. Findley said nothing compares to the taste and quality of pizza cooked in a stone oven.

That's the way things have been for 30 years, she said.

And on Saturday, Findley said she's celebrating Roman's 30th year of operation.

The alley next to the shop, located at 17 N. High St., will become a stage one night for the Jukebox Junkies from 5-7 p.m. in celebration. There will also be specials on pizza that night.

"This is our way of saying 'thank you' for 30 years," Findley said. "Without our customers, we wouldn't have our doors open."

ebrooks@thisweeknews.com