Meet Your Neighbor: Terry Davis of Fruita
Special to the Free Press
Editor’s note: We want to meet your neighbor. Send nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Denise: What do you do?
Terry: My wife, Dawn, and I are the owners and operators of the Pablo’s Pizza restaurant in Kokopelli Plaza in Fruita.
Denise: How did you get involved in Pablo’s?
Terry: Our daughter, Hannah, was an employee of Pablo’s, and we heard that the owners of the Fruita restaurant wanted to sell the business and retire. We inquired about it, applied for a loan through the Business Incubator, and were trained in pizza making by the owners of Pablo’s in Grand Junction. It had been a successful business in Fruita since 2006, and we thought it would be a great opportunity to take over a proven success instead of starting from scratch. We have been the owners since April 2012.
Denise: Are you enjoying it?
Terry: Very much so. My wife is the people person, and she loves meeting and talking to the customers. She also handles the paperwork. Although we had never been in the restaurant business before, we were given extensive training and great recipes. I enjoy making the homemade sauces each morning. There are nine different sauces we use in our pizzas, and they are all hand-made with high-quality healthy ingredients. I also enjoy making the dressings for our fresh salads.
Denise: Why do people like Pablo’s?
Terry: We create specialty gourmet pizzas with delicious ingredients, and there are lots of options including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free. We are the only high-end gourmet pizza in Fruita that also offers delivery anywhere within 10 miles of our location, from 23 Road all the way out to Loma. The high-school students like our lunch special, which includes a slice, a drink and a cookie. The students’ most popular pizza variety is mac-n-cheese pizza. They also like some of our more unusual pizzas including PBJ, and Spudtacular, which has potatoes.
Denise: What do you like about Fruita?
Terry: The people here are very friendly, and they truly want to see our business succeed. It’s also a great community with lots of outdoor opportunities.
Denise: What are the biggest challenges you face?
Terry: In my personal life, the biggest challenge I face is the residual effects I have from a stroke I suffered in 2002. It left me with constant pain and with aphasia, which affects my speech and communication skills. It takes a long time for me to process my thoughts and my speaking.
In business, our challenge is in marketing. Traditional advertising doesn’t work the way it once did, so we are working on getting our message out there in the most effective way. We use social media, including Facebook, coupons, and, of course, word-of-mouth. We have our regulars, but we need to increase our customer base and our visibility in the community.
Denise: What are your future plans?
Terry: Dawn and I would like to see Pablo’s successful enough that we can hire managers and not have to work in the restaurant every day ourselves. We would like to take some time to travel both near and far, and also to enjoy western Colorado.
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