Izzy's Pizza

May 4, 2017|

Wendy Ochs & Erin Hart from Izzy's Pizza join Northwest Business to tell us what new with the pizza buffet everybody that grew up in the northwest remembers from their childhood.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

910 year history and Portland presents northwest business a weekly one hour local business wildlife. If you would like your business to be featured on north was business please call 503535035. Million. Or email NW business said entercom.com. Now here's your host for northwest business Luke Anderson. It's looking Anderson thank you for download in the northwest business podcast. You'll in my conversation with the win the oaks the VP of operations and executive chef prepared hard. Marketing and PR for these these pizza he's he's as twelve locations from Eugene to look. It has been serving their pizza buffet in northwest families for a 39 news goodies he's pizza dot com for. Venues and locations this interview originally aired April 29. 2017. On 910 ESPN port. Ladies thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me today. Glad to be bad to be here. When you also would view you are the executive chef from the vice president of operations for disease and you started seventeen years ago with the company can you tell me how you got your start with disease. Yeah it was may of 2000. The year 2000 and I started out as a franchisee. In the Eugene and Springfield area. So you just decided you wanted to own a restaurant where Israelis. Have an opportunity. And my experience before starting that was my restaurant experience was eating in them. All I have to learn a lot on the job for the first year. But it's been a great company to work for one and Gwyneth how did you know is he's before that there was a just threw some research had you been a fan of the restaurant for. My husband I moved to Corvallis and we enjoy busy Sarah Corvallis. Quite a bit if I had to opportunity to get involved with a company and Aaron for you you do marketing and PR. How did you get your start with uzis pizza. I started out a couple of years ago I am as an admin position. But I've always had a passion for marketing NPR and so it just was kind of and the situation more evolved into the market meaning it's been a lot of fun. For people that are unfamiliar with these pizza would wanna be ladies like to kind of dive in and tell people what they're missing out on the boat pointing at each other anybody. They could. They can't see how brilliant we're actually buffet grand strand and it works out well for our people look there are gathering after games our families. Because there's something for everybody. We're known for our fresh salad bar it's it's a huge sound bar that we are take a lot of pride and we also have and traditional. Pan pizza crust that were pretty famous for. And we have a hot bar that has a lot of goods. Solid comfort foods. Are fried chicken is pretty well known. We make our own recipe for the branding. And as a corporate staff I don't even know the secret recipe oh wow yeah I have heard a secret yeah it's very secret. And then we have that a large deserve bar and the kids just love the deserve birds as they can help themselves to cookies and brownies and soft serve. So we have that as something for everybody. We about eight years ago added grills to our. Lineup and now we're able to offer steaks. Grilled how you orders jump. Right now we're feature in our states and you can add to. Pub style onion rings or blue cheese butter. And that's right on top of the stake yes but critics. And that no extra cost of that that's just part of our best say offerings it at dinner time. We also are featuring right now are pork rim blitz with your choice of three sauces. And we have a hit criticized the Carolina style and and I am raspberry chipotle that's pretty fabulous no load review they'll be bacon and grilled to finish off so you have the sauce of your choice finish a moment grill there's so my brash. But ours are just bait or smoked in house. How smokers slow. That just adds a whole another layer of flavor. Sounds and they only do finish them on the ground with your choice of sauce and you tell me before we started on there that says the salad bar very fresh local ingredients say is easy is. A local changes or corporate offices in Albany. The soups as well as Eric Wright. We actually. Kill our soup right out of Salem the nice thing about the soup is is that the ingredients both from the farm. Choose. The bay could expect in four hours. And the first time that soup is cut is when we heated up in the morning to server for lunch and dinner so same day fresh ready and Salem for all the restaurant yes. For anyone just joining the program we've talked talking with a Wendy Ochs she's a VP of operations for disease pizza and Aaron hard she is in PR and marketing. For the locations. Izzy is we were kind of going from Olympia down to you gene how many locations on their locally for people that are looking for an incidence. Ari we have. And like you said we start out and Olympia. And then we hit Kelso and out in Vancouver and we have to have gave away in east or. And then we head down to Salem. Head over to Hillsborough all. And make men terror and we have one over at the coast and then Albany is her one of our first stores are opening incur ballots and then we have eighteen of the last one. Oh wonderful so others most of those locations fall within the area where people can hear us talking. Our energy you wanna take on the story of how is he's got their start it was a family restaurant from the very beginning it's Herat. Yes it was there was physical well and her son Fred Jansen and he actually still running in the corporation assets today. And they started back in 79. They are I started in Albany incur ballots. And it's grown throughout the 39 years and we have twelve location. For its. Pizza for people that haven't been there in a long time I went when I was a kid you mentioned that the salad bar UUN and refreshed at the soup. Being freshen local almost four hours is kind of knew he had the grills only a handful of years ago. What's new what's different from when I why I was a kid back in the ninety's then and going into is he's. Well. Like say we've really expand our offerings on the hop bar. When I started in the new year 2000. We doubled offerings on the hop bar and we've only increased since then. And with the addition of the grilled Amanda now allows us to add additional items. And we chains also have grill items every three or four months so it kind of keeps of interest stink. We've also added some thin pizza crusts and trying some gourmet pizzas. So traditionally it's good that the pan cries thicker pizza that I remember so when you say you're adding gourmet pizzas is a New York style is a morally flat breads look at tape of their sinner okay. Hands. We feature some fresher items like our pesto artichoke tomato. Pizza is famous I think if we ever tries to quit offering that. We have rioting in oh we don't want that that's a big thing. Tell me a little bit about the people to go in daisies and and imagine you have a lot of regular gas when you have a buffet and the place it's been established for 39 years you probably have a lot of regulars. But for people who are listening and haven't tried it what's your main demographic. It's hard to say I think families probably are. One of the bigger demographics. At lunchtime it's a great place for working people who have limited time. Unlike most restaurants she going to a buffet restaurant foods ready to go see you can. CNN. Get your slid to eat it and get back out and we see it quite a few. You know. Construction workers office workers people who were on kind of a time and limits. For lunch time that's who we see at lunch and we see more families. At a dinner time. I brought up a little bit earlier but I remembered as a banquet restaurant where we go in we'd have our team party. Do all the locations have space for large parties how he's used to accommodate large groups. Yes we do have banquet space that all the locations which is really nice. And we have a lot of church groups that come in and Mike you said the sports and so it's it's a really integrate placed and how the whole family gap there. And for those is it something that you would reserve and advance obviously don't walk in with a party of twenty or thirty people. Yeah we can take reservations and so but we also just prolific yeah and they. Well you know party to any sign up without any notice is not a problem it's. Not all that makes it real easy for people who dominate when you mentioned that you started as a franchise owner for the other restaurants are you run the the Eugene restaurant yourself. For the other restaurant you mentioned that all of the franchise owners start as employees of the disease how nice is it to have. That great community around. That's great I'm actually the only of the four of franchisees. I'm the only one that didn't start out as an employee of Aziz. And we have three other franchisees some of the Mon two locations. And it's it's really great because they started out most of them as teenagers working and one of the locations. And it's been great to see them. Have success and be able to all Merrill location and then some of them actually purchased a second one. And it's a it's a great opportunity for somebody whose interest is and it's starting a restaurant business it's a company that has. A lot of procedures and policies in place that make it easy. To be successful. Like I say when I started out as a franchisee my experience and restaurants was eating in them and I was able to its. Take a location and be very successful with that just using the systems and that great recipes and a great. Name of that disease has to to be successful as a business owner. So you mentioned there's location we talked about a kind of that. Dotting the map as Aaron went through it from Kelso all the way down to Eugene there's plenty of space available kind of in between so if anybody is listening as I would like to get into it do what's the advantage of being. An owner of a buffet restaurant verses. Created new concept. Think practices. Eat is seize has the name already and it has a brand that people. Have fond memories of growing up as children are you know going daisies as a families so. You don't have to start from scratch you you have this great company to work Winston and four. And it's it's pretty easy be successful. And the advantages of having no local corporate office first is due in a franchise that's nationwide how nice is it to have the network of people. All of them in the local area. Worth close community were like oh close family within the corporation and so. And it's really nice if you have a question and and it's really easy to get a hold of windier myself send. An answer your questions and we're always say come on the road to go help out wherever needed. So when they're slow one and with employees or or whatever they need. But how often are you seeing the franchise owners for the other locations all fairly often at least once twice a matter of fact they aren't and I once we get done here are going to be. Heading to a couple of locations fur dinner we're gonna have to dinners tonight oh and that's that's terrible the company it was all the managers and. Just a check on things so it's been great having an. A fairly. Compacts. Set restaurants that we can. You know. Give out interact with sees a managers in the owners pretty easily. Now when you walk into a news these franchises that strike fear in the hearts of the employees or are you more like a celebrity not at all. These Democrats nods yeah I don't know now there and then I. Well ladies it's been really wonderful talking to you and it's nice note that he disease is is still out there for for future generation and so do I certainly enjoyed it when I was a kid. Thank you so much for take you don't want to say enough. If you'd like your company to be featured on northwest business called 5035350358. Or email NW business @entercom.com.