Ownership of House of Pizza and BBQ changed hands over the summer, but the taste of the smokehouse’s food and its signature look have remained intact.
On July 11th, former owner Greg Mauldon finalized the sale of his restaurant to Key Opportunities Inc., a company that helps provide work experience opportunities for the handicapped or otherwise disabled.
Though Mauldon said he enjoyed owning the restaurant, he was struggling to manage both it and Mauldon Brothers Construction, LLC, another company he owns.
“On one hand, I didn’t want to sell, but I felt like it needed a full-time owner,” Mauldon said. “We were doing so well that I couldn’t take care of the restaurant and my construction business- I needed an owner that would come in and spend more time than I could.”
Mauldon said he hoped the new owner would continue what he began in April of 2013, especially considering the amount of success he said his business has seen, and is happy Key Opportunities is keeping his vision alive.
Cassandra Neino, manager of the restaurant, said she was hired back by Key Opportunities after working for a year under Mauldon. She worked through the transition, and confirmed that the new owners have changed virtually nothing about the business.
“The recipes stayed the same, and even most of or all of the employees have stayed,” Neino said. “Everything came with the building. The menu is the same, the pricing is the same, and it’s just a different face, that’s all.”
Julie Boyce, executive director of Key Opportunities, said she and her organization were initially interested in the business because of the opportunities it would provide for the people she and her staff work with, as well as being fond of the food and the business itself.
“We work with individuals with disabilities, and we started a training course for cooking a year ago,” Boyce said. “It teaches them how to cook and about food safety procedures, the idea being we would start or buy a business to enable them to put their skills to work. The biggest barrier was transportation, so we looked at a place downtown, and when House of Pizza and BBQ came up for sale, we decided it was a great fit.”