Pizza Done Right, A Delicious Local Favorite

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Serving up amazing pizza for over 30 years

Taste of the Town: Sunshine Pizza
By Angie Helvey, Contributing Writer | Photos by Hayley Starkey

Pizza has been one of America’s favorite foods for decades and there are hundreds of ways to eat it. Some prefer a thin and crispy crust while others want the hand-tossed and tender New York-style. Then there’s the ever-popular debate about whether pineapple is an acceptable topping or not. And does a traditional rich red sauce taste better or a creamy garlic sauce? Whatever your partiality, SunShine Pizza has it all and will whip up a mouth-watering pizza pie guaranteed to tantalize your taste buds.

SunShine Pizza in St. Helens was the first of a 36-location Portland-based franchise, originally opened in 1981. Todd Stansbury was the original manager; he and his wife purchased the restaurant in 1999 and continue to cultivate a large community following. Family-owned and -operated, SunShine Pizza is now run by Todd, two daughters, one son-in-law, and a large staff of about 45, including many long-term employees.

The menu at SunShine Pizza offers a huge selection of pizzas, homemade pasta dishes, sandwiches, salads, and even a few Mexican options. Todd has been in the pizza business for over 40 years and knows how to satisfy customers. “Our combinations and all-meat pizzas are top-sellers and right now we have some new, unique combination pizzas coming out,” he says. One of these is “Momma’s Pizza,” a vegetarian option that includes spinach, fresh garlic, bell peppers, red onions, mozzarella, and feta cheese. The pasta dishes are well-liked and feature homemade sauces and meatballs. The cheese tortellini is a customer favorite, filled with fresh cheeses and served with a creamy pesto alfredo sauce.

SunShine Pizza takes pride in using only the finest and freshest ingredients and making everything from scratch. “Probably the most unique thing about SunShine is our dough,” says Todd. “We make our own, both thin crust and New York-style, not the same dough done differently but two entirely different doughs. We also stretch and throw the dough by hand, which is uncommon these days in the pizza industry. Then there’s the sauce: the New York-style sauce and the thin crust sauce are completely different for the different styles of pizza. We also grate fresh cheese every day and slice fresh vegetables.”


The menu includes calzones, with an option to build your own, and all the classic appetizers like wings, cheese sticks, and fresh-baked garlic focaccia bread. The restaurant features a gigantic salad bar, 17 feet long with over 50 items to choose from. Todd strives to provide plenty of variety for his patrons. “We have an extensive local following; many of our customers come in once or twice per week. We have lots of options so that no matter what you’re in the mood for, we’ve got you covered.” Beverage choices include traditional sodas as well as beer, on-tap and bottled, and a variety of wines.

SunShine Pizza has been part of the St. Helens neighborhood for well over 30 years and is a local favorite and town landmark. They offer local delivery and catering, and the holiday season is usually a busy one. They do all different kinds of events, from business dinners to Christmas parties as well as catering the yearly Toy N Joy Benefit Auction. The St. Helens community is important to Todd and his family. “We love our customers and our staff,” says Todd. “To a large extent, this business and this town have been my life and I’ve enjoyed that.”

Visit SunShine Pizza for a casual dining experience at a family-owned local business with classic Italian-made dishes made with the freshest ingredients. See if you can catch a glimpse of the dough being hand-tossed behind the counter!

SunShine Pizza is located at 2124 Columbia Blvd. in St. Helens. See their menu or order online at their website,, or give them a call at (503) 397-3211.