Now a chain of about 50 locations, Snappy Tomato Pizza was started in Northern Kentucky, and in Northern Kentucky it will stay.
Tim Gayhart, a Union resident and native of Cincinnati, just bought the company. Gayhart already owned five franchised Snappy Tomato restaurants, and developed 13 others. As of July, he owns the whole pie.
Gayhart says he started in the pizza business 30 years ago, borrowing $20,000 for his first Snappy franchise. “I am excited to begin this new chapter in my career,” Gayhart says. “The opportunity to do more of what I love to do is the reason I wanted to take a bigger slice of the pizza pie.”
Gayhart bought the company for an undisclosed amount from The Deters Co., a restaurant franchiser based in Burlington, Ky.
“Tim knows the pizza business and this company inside and out,” says Jeremy Deters, owner of The Deters Co. “I am excited to see where he takes Snappy, because with his passion and commitment the sky’s the limit.”
Pizza is not only great comfort food; it’s big business. Americans spend $46 billion a year on pizza, according to PMQ Pizza Magazine. Food Business News estimates that 30% of Americans eat pizza at least once a week. In the U.S., it’s estimated that an average of 350 slices of pizza are sold every second of every day.
The chain’s Burlington flagship store, along with Gayhart’s other Kentucky locations in Villa Hills, Richwood, Dry Ridge, and his Indiana sites in Lawrenceburg and Rising Sun, will now become corporate-owned establishments. As the franchisor, Gayhart will provide support, guidance, and resources for 44 current locations in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee and New Mexico. The first new franchise of his tenure is under contract to open in LaGrange, Ky. later this year, the company says.
The corporate headquarters will remain in Burlington alongside the flagship location. The corporate staff, more than 900 employees, management, and 31 franchisees throughout the country will remain intact during the ownership transition, Gayhart says.
Growth plans are in the works, as Gayhart says he plans to add ten stores over the next three years.