Since 1977

Our History

It was 1977…when Chuck Woodstock opened the first Woodstock’s Pizza near Oregon State in Corvallis, Oregon.

His goal was to create a fun, student-oriented pizzeria that dished up amazing pies using a unique, zesty marinara recipe.  From the beginning he focused on fresh, hand-tossed dough with a unique folded-over crust with sauce inside.  He insisted on putting more toppings on the pizza than any of his competitors, so you get a taste of every topping in each bite.

He quickly gained a loyal following, and partnered with Mike Chew in 1980 to build their next restaurant in San Luis Obispo.

Meanwhile back in Corvallis, Jeff Ambrose was a recent college grad without a full-time job.  Delivering pizzas seemed like a good way to keep from starving. But it turned out to be much more than he expected —

In 1982, Chuck and Chew (as Mike was called) asked Jeff to help open a new Woodstock’s in the most quintessential college town, Isla Vista, where they found student nirvana. They discovered the perfect location at the corner of Embarcadero del Norte and Madrid.  Borsodi’s (a counterculture coffeehouse) was in the same building and across the street was the Bank of America that was burned down during riots in 1970…

Woodstock’s opened in September, 1982 and it didn’t take long for Woodstock’s to become a popular student hangout.

Sadly, Chuck and Chew passed away in a private plane crash in 1985, leaving the company in the hands of their family members.

Eventually the families promoted Jeff to President of the company.  In 2001, Jeff and his wife, Laura, purchased all five California restaurants, which also included Chico, Davis and San Diego by SDSU.  (The original Corvallis restaurant is solely owned by Chuck’s wife, Carol Lee Woodstock.)

Since that time, we have added two new restaurants, in Santa Cruz and in Pacific Beach, San Diego.

Woodstock’s has an employee stock ownership plan, and encourages all managers to become owners.  The company is currently ranked #1 among independent pizzerias nationwide.  True to Chuck’s legacy, we are still committed to offering the highest quality ingredients, making our dough fresh daily in-house, keeping our signature sauce a secret, and working hard to create loyal customers and team members, while having fun in the process.

Giving back is the backbone of our business.



Named #1 Independent Pizzeria in the Nation

– Pizza Today

Best Pizza

– Daily Nexus (voted 24 times in a row)

Award of Quality

– National Academy of Restaurant Evaluation

#1 College Town for Pizza Lovers in CA

– BuzzFeed

Our Mission

Our mission is to earn loyal customers
and team members who uniquely regard
Woodstock’s as the Ultimate Pizza Experience.

To earn the distinction of being the Ultimate Pizza Experience we will:

  • Prepare every customer’s meal with individual attention.
  • Use the freshest, best tasting ingredients.
  • Consistently create outstanding, unique pizzas and accompaniments that are widely-regarded as the best ever, anywhere!
  • Treat each and every customer with friendliness, respect and courtesy.
  • Provide outstanding value that keeps customers returning with uncommon frequency.
  • Be recognized as a fun and outstanding place to work.
  • Provide a fun-filled festive atmosphere.

Woodstock’s will encourage our team members to work hard and have fun!

We’ll strengthen the communities we serve by giving back and fostering partnerships with local non-profit organizations.

And we’ll always make sure you get the tastiest pizza around, any way you like it.

California grown, fresh from the vine tomatoes are enhanced with a secret blend of spices to give Woodstock’s sauce a unique, zesty taste.

Our freshly baked crust has sauce inside.