Photo by Madison Kopp
By Madison Kopp, Blogger
Franchise co-owners Jerry DePizzo and Matt Crumpton opened the small chain restaurant Big Mamma’s Burritos in Athens, Ohio, in 2005. Big Mamma’s Burritos is a quick-serve burrito restaurant. DePizzo, originally from Youngstown, Ohio, is the guitarist and saxophone player for Ohio rock band O.A.R. (short for Of a Revolution). Crumpton, originally from Strongsville, Ohio, was an Ohio University alumnus. He is a lawyer and also was the previous owner, president and CEO of D.P. Dough, a fast food calzone franchise. In 2016, DePizzo and Crumpton opened a Big Mamma’s Burritos in downtown Columbus, Ohio, and in 2019, the pair opened a third location inside the Whistle and Keg Brewery in Downtown Cleveland, Ohio.
Over the summer, the Cleveland location was forced to shut down due to damages from protests that took place within the city. But the entrepreneurs weren’t easily deterred and used the unexpected closure as an opportunity to prove that their business is about more than just economic gain. On June 1, Big Mamma’s executives took to Facebook and wrote, “We can repair the glass. We can put new equipment in. Our hope is that our community grows from this as it begins to heal. Mamma will be back.”
Shortly after the protests, Crumpton and DePizzo began looking for open spaces to build and reopen a new Big Mamma’s Burritos franchise. The business opened its new Cleveland branch location on Nov. 13, in the Gordon Square Arts District. The area suffered from losing many businesses after the March shutdown due to COVID-19, but DePizzo and Crumpton have high hopes that it will be good for the community, according to an interview from The Land, a local Cleveland magazine.
Big Mamma’s offers a variety of food options such as burritos, bowls, nachos and salads. The menu may look overwhelming at first but it is actually quite simple. First, you pick your base — either a burrito, rice, nachos or salad. Next, you choose what type of style you would like, whether it be breakfast, vegan or loaded (complete with tater tots, sour cream, bacon and more)! It also offers a B.Y.O.B. (build your own burrito) where you can choose from a variety of veggies, proteins, cheese, salsas and a multitude of extras.
This must-visit Cleveland eatery is open. for lunch, dinner and will even satisfy your late night cravings. Its hours are 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. Thursday through Saturday and 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Sundays.
Bonus: One of the menu options that people may not know about is the Mega Mamma Challenge. The challenge costs $25 to participate, and you have one hour to finish a five-pound burrito that you build yourself. If you are able to complete the challenge you will receive your money back, an official mega mamma challenge champion t-shirt and a place on the Wall of Champions. There are currently only two champions who have completed the challenge. One completed the challenge at the Athens location in 20 minutes and the other completed the challenge at the Columbus location in 48 minutes. Will you be the next champion?