November 24, 2014 |

American Pizza Community salutes Small Business Saturday with Spotlight on Business Owners

By Pizza Today

Washington, D.C. – November 24, 2014 – The more than 70,000 pizzerias around the country share their support for small business owners in what has become known as Small Business Saturday ™.  There is no industry more representative of small business than the pizza industry, says the American Pizza Community (APC), whose membership consists of local pizza stores and operators of pizza franchises.

“Our industry is proud of its entrepreneurial spirit and the opportunity it offers for anyone to be a small business owner.  In fact, thousands of pizza shop owners started out as hourly employees,” said Lynn Liddle, Chair of the APC.

The APC thanks its fellow pizza comrades for their role as business owners in communities everywhere as part of Small Business Saturday ™.  Several examples of pizza store owners who started as employees include:

  • Betsy Clemenson, owner of Pizza Factory in Moreno Valley, California, started out as an assistant manager to help out the family who owned the local Pizza Factory and 12 years later became the owner of her own franchise.
  • Bre Hawkins, owner of Pizza Factory in Temecula, California, started out as a part-time counter worker in high school sixteen years ago at a Pizza Factory in Washington before becoming an employee of her current store in California.
  • Amy Kesecker, owner of Figaro’s Pizza in Philomath, Oregon, began working at the pizza store in high school 17 years ago and became an owner of the same store 10 years ago.
  • John Addis, owner of 11 Pizza Hut stores in Illinois, began his career as a team member of the Kewanee Pizza Hut store in high school.
  • Khush Bhullar, owner of 12 Domino’s Pizza stores in Pennsylvania, came to the U.S. with $16.50 in his pocket and had to borrow a friend’s car for his first day as a Domino’s delivery driver in 1997.  Eight years later, he bought his first store and just opened his 12th store this past July.

On November 29, small businesses everywhere anticipate increased consumer spending in local communities on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, when many Americans use their time off to get some early holiday shopping done.  This year, in a survey by the National Retail Federation, approximately 60 million shoppers are expected to shop on Saturday.

Small Business Saturday ™ began in 2010 when American Express encouraged consumers to “shop small” on the day after Black Friday. In the last four years, the White House, Small Business Administration and hundreds of corporations and community groups have joined the effort, hoping to give local, brick-and-mortar merchants a larger share of sales during the busiest shopping weekend of the year. American Express estimated consumers spent about $5.7 billion at local stores last year on Small Business Saturday™.

The APC says that pizza is often the go-to meal of choice for celebratory occasions and to mark special family traditions. In fact, Thanksgiving Eve is the second most popular day of the year for ordering pizza; the other days include Halloween, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and Super Bowl Sunday.

About The American Pizza Community

The American Pizza Community is a coalition of the nation’s large and small pizza companies, operators, franchisees, vendors, suppliers and other entities that make up the American pizza industry.  The coalition was formed in 2010 to advocate for policies affecting pizza companies and operators including menu and labeling information, fair wages, work opportunity tax credit, background checks, tax policies and small business access to capital.

Current members include Blackjack Pizza, Breadeaux Pizza, California Pizza Kitchen, CiCi’s Pizza, Domino’s Pizza, Figaro’s Italian Pizza, Godfather’s Pizza, Hungry Howie’s, Hunt Brothers Pizza, the International Pizza Hut Franchise Holders Association, Little Caesars, Nick-N-Willy’s, Papa John’s Pizza, Papa Murphy’s Pizza, Papa’s Pizza To-Go, Papa Romano’s Pizza, Pieology, Pizza Factory, Pizza Schmizza, Sam & Louie’s Pizza and Two Boots. Supplier partners include Coca-Cola, Leprino Foods Company, Middleby Marshall, the National Pork Producers Council, Paradise Tomato Kitchens, PepsiCo and Tyson.

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