Established in 1989, Jimbo’s Pizza in Celina aims not only to provide quality pizza to residents, but encourages students to excel in their school work through scholarships.

The backstory

The restaurant was first located in Celina’s Downtown Square in 1989 but relocated to its current space on Walnut Street in 2018. Manager Santiago Rodriguez said his father, Dago Rodriguez, traded horses with Punk Carter when he first immigrated to the United States from Mexico.

“[My dad] wanted a little bit more income because my brother was born and I was on the way,” Santiago Rodriguez said. “He started working at what used to be a Cici’s Pizza, which was owned by a coach named Jim Sloan.”

Eventually, Sloan and Dago Rodriguez partnered to open Jimbo’s Pizza, and Dago Rodriguez completely took over the restaurant in 1991, when Sloan moved to East Texas.

From the oven

Diners can order traditional pizza flavors; however, Jimbo’s has several specialty flavors such as the Chigito’s pizza, which features grilled chicken, bacon, mozzarella, cheddar, onions and barbecue sauce. Another specialty pizza is the al pastor pizza, which features al pastor pork based in tomatillo sauce, pineapple, cilantro, mozzarella and jalapeno sauce.

The most popular menu item is the Dago’s pizza, which features ranch dressing, mozzarella, hamburger, onions, green peppers and jalapenos.

“He was just making stuff up, and I was like, ‘That’s never going to sell,’” Santiago Rodriguez said. “It’s our best seller. A lot of people think of it as a Philly cheesesteak pizza.”

Giving back

As businesses owners, Dago and Santiago Rodriguez like to be a part of their community and often donate pizzas to the schools for events. Dago Rodriguez also worked with the city to organize an annual Cinco De Mayo celebration where the restaurant also sponsors several scholarships for Celina students.

“I think we started out with five scholarships, but now we’re at about 15,” Santiago Rodriguez said.