Mountain William Pizza is a family owned business. The owners, Randy Ross and Donna Ross Looper, are brother and sister. Though they were born and raised in the state of Nebraska, their family tree traces its roots through the state of Missouri.
Their father’s family comes from the northwest region of the state, from Kansas City to the Iowa border. Their father has been in love with the Ozarks since his first visit to Branson during his school years. Their mother’s family comes from the Ava, Missouri area and moved to a farm in northwestern Missouri a few years before she was born. She shared many stories with her three children about growing up on the farm. Their parents, Don and Louise Ross, had vacationed (usually camping) in the Branson area for many years before finally retiring here in Taney County in 2001.
The idea for the business name of “Mountain William Pizza” came from their father. He has been calling himself a “Mountain William” for several decades. Before the sign you see here, he once had a similar sign that he placed outside of his camper that stated “Mountain William”. Of course, this would often result in people stopping by their campsite asking, “What is a Mountain William?” or “So is your last name William?”
His reply often went something like this; “Well ya see, I was born and raised in the great state of Missouri. So naturally, being from Missouri, I just always considered myself a Hillbilly. That is, until I attended school and got myself edgamacated. That’s when I found out that I wasn’t a Hillbilly after all, I was actually a Mountain William!”
So here is how Randy often explains the name Mountain William Pizza to people: What is a small version of a mountain? Answer: Hill. What is a small version of William? Answer: Bill or Billy. Put them together and then add pizza. The result? Hill Bill or Hillbilly, i.e., Hillbilly Pizza.
That being said, we find it truly amazing that some people still don’t get the connection. Often saying, “Oh … I see”. However, what we see in their expression is that “the lights are on, but nobody’s home”. 😉