the age of 49, Mabel White started in the restaurant
business with Mabel’s Lunchroom in 1953 on College Drive in Decorah. Students
from nearby Luther College were regular customers.
Mabel often let them make their own sandwiches and change at the register. One fateful day, a student asked if he could make himself a “pizza.” Mabel agreed without knowing what a pizza was or understanding how this would change her life and eventually become an icon of Decorah.
In 1968, Mabel paid tribute to the item that attracted overwhelming attention and renamed her restaurant Mabe’s Pizza.