Strong Brewed Marketing: Martino’s Pizzeria

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Martino's boxesMJ Vacco was born into the restaurant business – in fact, his family has two 40 year-old restaurants in Iowa, still operating to this day! He’s the proud owner of Martino’s Pizzeria, the official provider of the best pizza in Lafayette, Erie and Louisville, Colorado. A seasoned business man, MJ dishes out his business advice straight-up, just the way I like it. He shared with me the truths about owning a restaurant and offered some great insight for aspiring entrepreneurs. Get ready, because he didn’t sugarcoat it and neither am I!

Inspiration: Being raised in a family business, MJ learned the ropes of the restaurant industry at a young age. He says that his family members challenged him in ways that other people wouldn’t and the environment helped him develop a “figure-it-out” mentality – in other words, if he didn’t know how to do something, he had to learn how to do it quickly. The experience was invaluable for MJ and offered him insight about what it takes to find balance as a small business owner. It also fueled the entrepreneurial spirit that led him to open Martino’s.

Benefits: As a father of four, MJ enjoys the flexibility that business ownership provides, so he can schedule around his family events. But, it’s a double-edged-sword; as the owner, he has to be ready to resolve issues at a moment’s notice, often getting pulled away from his family to handle things for the business. Another bonus is the ability to set goals and have the authority to achieve them. MJ likes to map out his goals and successes, saying that it’s rewarding to “know where you can go and have the control to go there.”

Challenges: A business owner wears many hats, and often times their To-Do list can double, or even triple, in the course of a day!  Therefore, time management is one of the greatest challenges MJ faces day-to-day. He says that it’s crucial to be able to re-prioritize tasks and remain effective.

Community Focus: Martino’s Pizzeria is an avid supporter of local events and believes in the importance of giving back. Each year, they dish up their famous Peach Pizza™ at the Annual Peach Festival, sponsor the Lafayette Library’s Summer Reading Program and feed Boulder’s homeless population every quarter. They also host numerous fundraisers for schools and churches. The team at Martino’s doesn’t just talk about doing good – it’s actually part of their business model. {Can I get a “woot, woot!” for that awesomeness?}

Martino'sAdvice: The best advice that MJ can give to budding business owners is this: be crystal clear about what you want to do. You can’t start a business on a whim – you need to map out every detail. It’s important to have an in-depth understanding of all the angles of your business and industry. And no matter what industry you’re in, you’ve got to understand accounting (i.e. – know your fixed and variable expenses!)

MJ’s recipe for success includes thorough planning, industry knowledge, a touch of entrepreneurial drive and some mad pizza-makin’ skills. Follow his recipe, add your own secret ingredient and you’ll set yourself up to succeed. Is it just me or do you want some pizza right about now? Go grab yourself a slice and soak up some inspiration while you’re there. Ciao for now!

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