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The Twelfth Day Of Smizness: Papa Kelsey’s Pizza & Subs

The Twelfth Day Of Smizness: Papa Kelsey’s Pizza & Subs

Papa Kelsey’s Pizza & Subs
Delicious Pizza. Serious Business

SeriousPizzaPizza is serious business for Andy Dell. You can tell by this slogan that hangs on the wall of his restaurant.

Andy and his wife Katy own Papa Kelsey’s Pizza & Subs in Mesa, Arizona. And while they’ve owned this restaurant for three years now, it’s their third pizzeria. Andy’s dedication to good pizza is evident in how he describes Papa’s.

“Papa Kelsey’s has been in Mesa since 1992, but we took over in 2009. We are completely independently owned and operated. Our process is all about preparing our fresh sub rolls & pizza crust, using only the best ingredients. Everything we serve you will be the best you’ve ever tasted, guaranteed.”

Remember what I said about being serious? He’s not kidding with that guarantee. Papa Kelsey’s will truly refund every penny of your purchase if you don’t love your meal. It’s right there on their website.

Knowing What You Want

AndyKatyUnlike many of us, Andy and Katy have known what they wanted to do from a young age. For this husband/wife team, it’s always been about food and service. Both attended Northern Arizona University and studied hotel restaurant management.

After college, Andy began working for Pizza Hut. He knew right away that a big company wasn’t for him, but he saw an opportunity to learn from a big, successful company.Andy worked his way up to a training manager at Pizza Hut, then decided it was time to strike out on his own. His goal was to take all of his restaurant and pizza skills, combine those with far better ingredients and create a family style restaurant with a neighborhood pizzeria feel.

“I didn’t like working for a big company, but learning the business was a necessary step on my way to having my own restaurant. Papa Kelsey’s is your neighborhood pizza place. That’s far more our style.”

The Perfect Pizza Team

Of course, incredible pizza is just one part of the recipe for success. Another priority for Andy and Katy is hiring the perfect staff. From the folks that craft your pizza, salads and subs to the staff that greets you when you order, they’ve put great effort into assembling just the right team.

“It takes time to find and train great people, but we can say we have an awesome team.”

Andy is confident that in the past three years, he’s staffed well, developed great processes and perfected the classic menu offerings. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to sit back and relax. His focus now is on expanding the menu.

bg-pizza copy“Right now I’m working on getting our regular customers to try new items. We have upgraded the menu and added some great new products.”

They say the restaurant business is among the hardest there is. The hours are long and the competition is fierce. Andy doesn’t disagree with that, but he’ll tell you that patient and persistence is the key. He’ll also tell you that it’s all worth it.

“Owning your own business is not for everyone. You have to be patient and follow a business plan. It takes so much time, energy, and money, but if you want it bad enough, it can happen. You need to sacrifice vacations and time off for a couple years, too. Be a leader and never lose focus on why you started your business in the first place.”

Andy and Katy would love to share your pizza with you. If you’re in Arizona, you can visit them at 9124 East Main Street (NW Corner Ellsworth & Main) in Mesa. You can also follow the deliciousness on Facebook.