Pizzeria owner, other Minnesotans invited to State of the Union speech

Author:
Updated:
Original:

President Obama is expected to mention St. Paul-based Punch Pizza during his State of the Union speech Tuesday night.

Punch Pizza founder and co-owner John Soranno and employee Nick Chute will be guests of First Lady Michelle Obama during the speech in the U.S. Capitol, WCCO reports. They'll sit near her in the balcony of the House chambers, the Pioneer Press reports.

Co-owner John Puckett said he thought it was a joke when he got a message last week from the White House, the newspaper reported.

Obama planned to single out the pizzeria as part of his effort to goad Congress into raising the federal minimum wage for workers from $7.25 to $10.10. Punch in December announced it had raised its own minimum wage to $10/hour for employees at its eight Twin Cities locations.

“As we continue to grow Punch we recognize that only the most dedicated employees will position us to compete and maintain the highest quality food and the best service in the market," Sorrano said.

Punch posted this to Facebook:

Post by Punch Neapolitan Pizza.

The Star Tribune has a complete list of 10 other Minnesotans invited by members of the state's congressional delegation, including Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges (invited by Rep. Keith Ellison), St. Cloud physician Dr. Julie Anderson (invited by Rep. Michele Bachmann) and Vednita Carter, founder and executive director of Breaking Free, a St. Paul-based organization that helps women escape prostitution (invited by Rep. Erik Paulsen).

Next Up

Alexus Norberg

Search for girl, 14, missing from St. Cloud

The teen left her home without her parents' permission.

coronavirus, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, January 26

The health departments provided new data daily at 11 a.m.

Sars-Cov-2

What health officials know, don't know about Brazil P.1 variant

Minnesota health officials confirmed the first case of the P.1 variant in the U.S.

christopher and banks

Christopher & Banks closing stores for good, laying off 361 people at Plymouth facility

The layoffs began earlier this month and will continue through March.

Screen Shot 2021-01-26 at 8.56.43 AM

Tributes, donations after death of popular South High School teacher

The fundraiser had raised more than $9,000 of its $15,000 as of Tuesday.

Target headquarters

2 men plead guilty to arson at Target headquarters in Minneapolis

The two men were charged in the Aug. 26, 2020, arson that happened following false rumors about a police shooting.

State Capitol.

MN House votes to condemn insurrection and false election claims, 8 GOPers vote against

The resolution condemned violence at the U.S. and state capitols and declared support for 2020 election results.

Michelle Young

Teacher from Edina steals Matt James' heart on 'The Bachelor'

She's also a former high school and college basketball star.

Related