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Originally published Friday, January 31, 2014 at 6:52 PM

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Pizza makers, retailers enjoying the sales rush

Super Bowl huge for local retailers feeding party-goers.

Seattle Times business reporter

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While the two best football teams in the country are preparing to face off, local restaurants, pizza shops and retailers are working hard on their own game-day plans.

Sundays are usually the third-biggest day for Pagliacci Pizza, which has 24 locations around Puget Sound. But, two weeks ago when the Seahawks took on the San Francisco 49ers, deliveries were up 40 percent, said Matt Galvin, Pagliacci co-owner. They made almost 5,500 deliveries that evening.

“Bad weather, football games and a Friday night are good for pizza delivery,” he said.

On Sunday, Pagliacci is opening two hours early so Seahawks fans can get their pizzas delivered before the 3:30 p.m. kickoff. Almost the entire 600-person staff will be on duty, 200 of whom are drivers.

Galvin said the most important factor for him is having enough cooks on duty because the crusts are made fresh and hand tossed.

To keep his staff in the spirit when they can’t be watching the game themselves, Galvin has sent face paint, stickers and Mardi Gras beads to every location and all the employees have a Pagliacci shirt with a 12 on the back.

“I needed to come up with things to create excitement for our employees,” he said. “We’re all in the spirit and it is definitely great for business.”

Pagliacci also will be including Skittles with every delivery. As the favorite treat for Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch, Skittles have been a hot commodity all over Puget Sound.

Fred Meyer and QFC stores in the Seattle-area have shipped in stock from stores in Oregon and Idaho.

“We have two district managers around Puget Sound and they keep calling and asking to please send more Skittles,” Fred Meyer spokeswoman Melinda Merrill said. “Skittle sales are off the charts.”

Other Super Bowl prep for the two grocery stores have included stocking up on beer, chips and avocado, which Merrill said are the hottest Super Bowl items.

They have rearranged their display cases to make it easy for party goers to find vegetable or meat and cheese platters and have the deli and fresh food staff working overtime to keep the stores fully stocked come Sunday morning.

“We’ve been talking about Super Bowl for about eight weeks. It is in our plan and budgeting because it is a big event regardless,” Merrill said. “But this year we are calling it our new holiday because it has just been so huge for us with the Seahawks in the Super Bowl.”

Although Fred Meyer does not disclose sales numbers, Merrill said the Sunday morning before the championship game they saw a large single digit increase, which is high given the year in retail. They are expecting similar if not larger sales for this Sunday, she said.

As far as beer goes, there are a lot of options. One Seattle microbrewery concocted a special beer in honor of the Seahawks. It’s called “The 12th Can” — and it’s been a hit for the two-year-old Ballard brewery, Hillaird’s Beer. The founders gambled on how popular the beer would become last year, said Ryan Hilliard, co-founder of the brewery.

He has had to drastically increase production to keep up with demand for the Seahawks-themed beer, which was released in at the beginning of the regular season in September. Hilliard’s has produced more than 12,000 cases (24 cans in a case). The 12th Can pale ale is sold in a 12-packs of 16-ounce tallboys for about $20 and available at local Safeway, Albertsons, QFC and Fred Meyer stores.

“But who knows which stores still have it in stock,” Hilliard said Thursday.

The brewery made one extra batch of its Seahawks beer last week, which means there are 150 cases on site for Sunday’s game.

“It takes us two weeks to brew a batch before it is ready to put into cans and another week to get to the grocery stores,” he said. “I wish we could have brewed like mad after the championship game to be more prepared.”

Coral Garnick: 206-464-2422 or On Twitter @coralgarnick

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