Spankey’s Una Pizza – A Fresh Success
Spankey’s Una Pizza is located in Vanderburgh county on the west side of Evansville at 714 N. Sonntag Avenue. The restaurant is named after the Huck’s beloved family dog, a Boston Terrier, Spankey. Spankey’s Una Pizza opened Friday, January 13, 2012. Opening a business may have worried most people, but not Lisa Huck and her son, Ryan. They even opened it on Firday the 13th.
“We figured if others could do it. We could too,” Lisa said.
In January 2011, Lisa Huck came to the Southwest ISBDC seeking advice on buying an existing pizza restaurant. Lisa met with Business Advisor Pete Sabella to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of buying an existing pizza restaurant. After doing a great deal of her own research and speaking with Pete, Lisa decided that purchasing an existing business wasn’t a good fit for her and her family, but opening one seemed like the right thing to do.
Lisa admits it took her entire family to make Spankey’s Una Pizza a reality. Ryan had experience working in a pizza restaurant and a marketing background and her husband was the one with the dream. Tired of working at a job she had been at for 25 years, Lisa said they made the leap to start the business.
Ryan is the man behind the pizza, he has invited most of the recipes and did a great deal of research on quality ingredients and the best equipment available. All the ingredients used are fresh and even the dough and pizza sauce are Ryan’s own recipes. The restaurant specializes in pizzas with a thin cracker crust topped with fresh veggies and meat cooked directly on the pizza, allowing the flavor to permeate throughout, and hand sliced cheese. Spankey’s also serves a variety of sandwiches and homemade hand-rolled bread sticks. Lisa says that most days they run out of breadsticks before closing time. The “Westsider” is a top seller at Spankey’s, it includes Italian sausage, beef, pepperoni, ham, bacon and Canadian bacon.
Over the last year, Lisa has returned numerous times to work with Pete to get advice and seek answers to questions. With no experience with accounting, Lisa turned to Pete for advice. Pete advised Lisa to use Quickbooks for her accounting because it was user friendly and easy to customize for her specific needs. Since opening, Lisa and Ryan estimate with their staff of nine, they have sold almost 10,000 pizzas. The restaurant is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
According to the pair, their busiest day so far was February 18, a day after the Evansville Courier & Press ran a cover story on Spankey’s in their Westside edition.
“We had to finally quit answering the phones. We couldn’t keep up with the demand. We had a two hour wait at one point,” Lisa said. A great problem to have just a month after opening.
Mother’s Day holds the second place as the busiest day, so far. But they expect the day before Thanksgiving to be incredibly busy this year.
As far as advice for potential entrepreneurs, Lisa says, do your research. The more research that is done the better prepared you are. Ryan and Lisa add that because of the advice received from the SW-ISBDC and good planning, the business is running smoothly and about 99% better than they had planned. Good research and wise financial decisions such as, shopping on Craig’s List for restaurants selling used equipment cut down on costs and has helped to make the business a success.
Spankey’s Una Pizza has already become an Evansville favorite in the few short months since it opened. Currently, Spankey’s Una Pizza is only carry out or delivery, but Lisa says they are considering outdoor seating during the summer months and people are suggesting they should expand to the building located next to Spankey’s, so the business could offer a dine-in experience.
For more information visit the Spankey’s Una Pizza website.