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New proprietor of Iriana’s Pizza plans to proceed the restaurant’s 36-year custom

Brian Chilson
Nathan Tucker

When Iriana’s new proprietor Nathan Tucker started working on the downtown pizzeria a number of months in the past, he began out as an everyday worker, shadowing founder John Iriana to be taught the whole lot he might concerning the enterprise so he might proceed the custom Iriana began 36 years in the past.

“It’s gonna be the identical,” Tucker stated. “Clearly, I haven’t been making Iriana’s pizza for 36 years like John, however he stood by my aspect and confirmed me each trick of the commerce to copy precisely what he does,” Tucker stated.

Throughout Tucker’s time as a rep with Golden Eagle Budweiser, the place he labored for 17 years, he started to frequent the pizzeria. Tucker stated he, John Iriana and his spouse Shirley Iriana bought alongside exceptionally nicely. One factor that stood out to him concerning the Irianas, he stated, was their work ethic.

“John Iriana is among the hardest working males I’ve ever met in my life,” Tucker stated. “He stood behind that oven for 36 years, took delight in the whole lot he did. I don’t know if folks actually understand how a lot coronary heart and soul was put into this enterprise,” Tucker stated.

Iriana started making pizzas when he was 14 years old in Rhode Island and New Hampshire. He opened Iriana’s Pizza within the spring of 1987 after graduating from UALR.

“I’ve two daughters and a spouse and we simply all kick in, and it’s a thriving household enterprise. We do it the quaint means,” he told Arkansas Business in 2012.

Tucker additionally began making pizzas at a younger age. His first job was at CiCi’s. He additionally labored at Domino’s and Little Caesar’s and managed a Pizza Hut.

“I’ve all the time had somewhat half in my coronary heart for it,” he stated.

About three years in the past, Tucker was speaking to Shirley and instructed her that he’d be focused on taking up the enterprise at some point in the event that they ever deliberate on retiring. Tucker stated Shirley instructed him that she needed to retire at 60, however John needed to work for the remainder of his life, Tucker stated.

Tucker stated it was round 9 months in the past when Shirley contacted him and requested if he was nonetheless .

“She stated, ‘This yr in Might will likely be our thirty sixth yr, and I’ll be turning 60, and we’re able to take the subsequent step,’” Tucker stated.

Tucker stated it wasn’t straightforward leaving a job of 17 years to personal his personal restaurant, however household factored closely into his resolution.

The identical day Shirley messaged about presumably taking up the enterprise, Tucker bought a textual content from his mom, who despatched him an image of his late father, David Tucker. The elder Tucker was a basic supervisor for the Pink Lobster division of Darden Eating places. (Darden offered Pink Lobster to Golden Gate Capital in 2014.)

“He was the primary basic supervisor on the youngest age for any Darden Restaurant,” Tucker stated. “Mainly, what he did is he went to Pink Lobsters and constructed them up for a yr and two, after which we’d transfer to the subsequent one. And eventually after we bought to Arkansas, he fell in love and had the identical 86 to 90 workers for nearly 10 years.”

Tucker stated his youngsters additionally factored into the choice.

“That is an asset for my youngsters, one thing for them to look as much as. They will truly come up and see me and work together with the purchasers and know it is a true family-friendly ambiance, which may be very arduous to come back by as of late.

“My youngsters’ pals as they get in highschool will get to work with us. That’s what my dad did. He employed all my pals and taught them the respectful, disciplined option to be an worker. So with John and Shirley and their dedication, my dad’s dedication and self-discipline I simply type of needed to proceed the identical legacy.”

The submit New owner of Iriana’s Pizza plans to continue the restaurant’s 36-year tradition appeared first on Arkansas Times.