PRZOOM - /newswire/ -
Dallas, TX, United States, 2005/10/03 - Alex Garza was first introduced to the pizza business more than 13 years ago as a 16-year-old employee in the original Pizza Patrón located in Oak Cliff, Texas, on the South side of Dallas..
Although he dreamed of opening a pizza shop similar to Pizza Patrón, he never imagined that through the relationship he had established with Antonio Swad, founder of Pizza Patrón, he would become the owner of their first franchised restaurant in April 2003 at the age of 26. Since franchising this first location, the chain has grown to 141 locations either open or under development in several states.
“It was quite an adventure to open the first franchised Pizza Patrón,” said Garza. “My biggest obstacle was leaving my job to pursue this dream. I had worked for the U.S. Postal Service for eight years and had a very secure job, but knew I couldn’t give 100 percent to my restaurant if I tried to do both.”
With help and support from his wife, Abigail, Garza took the risk of leaving his current position and passionately pursued opening his own restaurant.
“I had learned about the operational side of the business as a teenager, but received the much needed support from Antonio and the Pizza Patrón team to become a successful business owner. Antonio is much more than a CEO, he is a coach,” said Garza.
Garza also attributed much of his success to the way the brand connects with the community.
“From the store’s atmosphere, design and music to the bilingual employees, the Latino community feels comfortable visiting my store. This level of comfort is not being provided from any other national pizza brand,” said Garza.
This business opportunity is more than an investment to Garza, who would like to open additional Pizza Patróns.
“I enjoy what I’m doing,” said Garza. “My store is located in a community similar to where I grew up and I am proud to be able to provide a quality product and service, as well as, career opportunities to the area. A lot of my employees remind me of myself at that age,” said Garza.
Garza’s Pizza Patrón is located in Garland, Texas and with the help of his store manager, Felipe Arango, he is currently looking for a second location. Arango started at Garza’s store as a part-time employee two years ago, but was promoted to a management position because of his exceptional customer relations skills and product knowledge.
Pizza Patrón was founded by Antonio Swad in 1986. Since franchising began in March 2003, the brand has gone from four locations to 141 either open or under development. Pizza Patrón features festive and fun carryout-only pizza stores that are community based in Spanish speaking or predominately Hispanic neighborhoods and recently added its first dine-in location in May 2005. All pizza dough is made fresh throughout the evening; no preservatives are added or needed. The sauce is prepared fresh in the stores, as well, from crushed Roma tomatoes. Only 100 percent mozzarella is used. Whole and half pizzas are offered at prices as low as $4.99 for a large pizza with cheese and one topping and $3.49 for the same half pizza. A large “La Patrona” pizza with everything is only $6.99.