Business Builders

Hometown Connection

Hometown Photos

When Pat and Tony Moschides wanted guests to think of “Home Town Pizza” as, well, their hometown pizzeria, they decorated their shop with local memorabilia. The source of their economically priced décor? They found a number of interesting historical photographs showing various local landmarks in the town library and had copies tastefully framed and hung in the restaurant. (Editor’s note: Other sources of historical hometown photos include local museums and/or newspapers.)

Pat and Tony Moschides, Owners Home Town Pizza Attleboro, MA


Living History

When owner Billy Lane wanted to celebrate hometown history, he literally built it into his pizzeria. That is, with the help of a local antiques dealer, Bill remodeled his pizzeria in 1991 to showcase various architectural elements salvaged from well-known area businesses. For example, Billy’s guests enjoy his pizza while surrounded by hundreds of interesting artifacts, including a colorful neon sign from “Spe-Bo’s Drive-In,” a ticket booth and chandeliers from a grand theater, an antique gas pump, a historic barber pole, and more.

Billy Lane, Owner Pizza Lane Sumter, SC


Flagging the Map

Originally from NY himself, pizzeria owner Ted Cioffi has attracted a following among other former New Yorkers living in Knoxville. To make them feel more at home, Ted posted a large NYC subway map and invited them to flag their original neighborhoods using numbered pins.

Not only has this helped build camaraderie among fellow “expats,” seventy pins subtly reinforce his pizza’s NYC authenticity with everyone else. (Editor’s note: Similarly, a trattoria might invite guests to mark their family’s hometown on a map of the Old Country!)

Ted Cioffi, Owner I Love NY Pizza Knoxville, TN


Recycle for Cash

With the cost of just about everything rising, Chef Ray Hollingsworth found a unique way to trim operating costs, without decreasing food quality.

That is, Ray significantly reduced his trash bill by working with his local waste hauler to implement an on-site recycling program. The waste company provides free bulk containers for collecting cardboard, steel cans, and glass containers, and free weekly pickup for the recyclables. By diverting those items out of the “waste stream” and into recycling,

Hollingsworth’s banquet facility saves money by reducing dumpster pickups.

Ray Hollingsworth, Chef Loon River Café Sterling Heights, MI


Cost Education

With inflation, businesses must periodically update their prices to remain profitable over time. When Maria LaRosa recently updated her menu prices, she worried how customers might react. So beforehand, she laminated news articles about rising food costs to help educate them. While it pays to be prepared, Maria’s regulars didn’t even mention her modest increases.

That’s when Maria learned a valuable cost lesson of her own. That is, between the rising price of gas, groceries, and everything in between, her regulars just naturally assumed that her costs have risen as well. And with or without inflation, they still don’t mind paying a bit more to enjoy Maria’s consistently great-tasting food!

Maria LaRosa, Owner LaRosa’s Pizza & Pasta Stillman Valley, IL


Do As I Say

This second generation restaurateur has long believed that in tough times, his quality oriented patrons raise, not lower, their quality expectations. Ironically, he recently proved the point in reverse, as a patron himself.

That is, after a doctor’s appointment in a nearby city, he and his wife decided that instead of completing their trip with a visit to their favorite steakhouse, they would save the half hour drive and stop at a discount steak chain near the hospital. But from the moment their less than tender steaks arrived, they regretted having “settled.” So instead of feeling thrifty for spending less than at their favorite place, they still feel foolish for every dollar they wasted on that disappointing meal.

Wishes to remain anonymous