A Hampden-based home heating company said Tuesday it is purchasing the landmark Bangor business Tri-City Pizza, 60 years after it started serving pizza.
R.H. Foster Energy will buy the popular pizza establishment on Broadway, which owners Paul and David Winkler put up for sale earlier this year. The Winkler family has owned the business for more than 50 years, and have barely changed the business model, recipe or menu in that time. Tri-City, with its loyal customer base, serves takeout-only pizza, sandwiches, chips and soda.
Katie Foster, executive manager of R.H. Foster, said that her company shared many values with the Winklers, including a commitment to customer service and an entrepreneurial spirit.
“We are thrilled that Tri-City Pizza is becoming a part of the R. H. Foster family,” she said in announcing the acquisition. “Both R.H. Foster and Tri-City Pizza began doing business more than 50 years ago. The similarities don’t end there.”
R.H. Foster intends to keep Tri-City operating in essentially the same way it always has, offering takeout-only pizza and sandwiches from its longtime location at the corner of Broadway and Center Street. The Winklers will stay on for several months to assist with the transition in ownership.
Tri-City opened in 1961, originally owned by George Chapman, and was the first pizza place in town. Though the name might make people think it refers to three cities — Bangor, Brewer, and a mystery third — the name actually references Chapman’s three daughters, and the fact that Chapman planned to open three more locations in two other cities.
Those other locations never opened, and in 1964, Chapman sold the business to Paul Winkler Sr., the current owner’s father. It has been a staple on Bangor’s East Side for close to 60 years.
In addition to delivering fuel for home heating through eastern Maine, R.H. Foster also installs furnaces and heat pumps, and operates 16 Freshies locations across Maine, gas stations and convenience stores that offer deli items and pizza.