Local pizza shop plans second locationWritten by Duane Ramsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Even with competition from national chain and franchise pizza spots, one local pizza shop owner is planning to open a second location in Toledo.
Chris Hawley, owner of PizzAroma in Monclova Township, is preparing to open another store on Secor Road in Toledo between Laskey and Alexis as early as March. The new location will offer carryout and delivery business, while the Monclova shop also offers dine-in service.
“Even with the tough economy, I decided to take a chance and go ahead with my plans to expand the business,” said Hawley, a native of South Toledo.
Hawley signed a lease for the building that housed the former Creative Sign Shop on Secor. He’s working with the City of Toledo on some zoning issues, finding the process and red tape to be quite lengthy.
“Don’t get me wrong, I love Toledo and understand that it’s just part of the process,” Hawley said. “I have traveled all over the U.S. and internationally, but have stayed in Toledo by choice.”
Hawley purchased the PizzAroma store that opened in 2007 from the original owner in October 2008 with no previous experience in the foodservice or restaurant business.
With a business and marketing background, Hawley said he “always thought it would be cool to own a pizza shop.”
“I’ve learned the business firsthand and it’s been a fun challenge. I plan to grow in the Toledo market and am looking at other locations,” he said.
Hawley believes that being a locally owned pizza business allows it to compete with the national brands. It gives him the freedom to do things differently from the requirements of a chain or franchise, he said.
“We have the best-tasting food made with fresh dough, ingredients and sauce without using any frozen products. Our staff does a great job of taking care of our customers,” he said.
Hawley also believes in buying local, purchasing much of the food and ingredients from Sofo Foods in Toledo and other local suppliers.
Like most pizza places, PizzAroma offers coupons and monthly specials for pizza and other menu items in-store and on its Web site at www.
Hawley is remodeling the Monclova location where his friend Jeff Stewart, a local artist and musician, created the original artwork for the dine-in area.