Thursday, March 27, 2014, Pizzicletta was recognized as a 2014 Success Award Winner by the Arizona Small Business Development Center Network in the annual Success Award program for small business success. The Arizona Small Business Development Center Network is Arizona’s largest and most accessible statewide source of assistance for small businesses in every stage of development. Each year the Network highlights and honors some of Arizona’s brightest small business successes for the vital role that they play in our state’s economy. Pizzicletta worked with the Coconino Community College Small Business Development Center to achieve a higher level of success. Read their story below:
Pizzicletta is the first business Caleb Schiff has owned and the only kitchen he has ever managed. He wanted a restaurant to be a size that would enable him to succeed by giving him the ability to oversee all aspects of a fledging business. Schiff wanted to have hands not only in the dough, but the hiring, bookkeeping, purchasing, and all the while having attention to detail. He wanted to know his way around every physical and fiscal nook and cranny. The simple menu and overall size of Pizziclettta allowed him to do just that, and equally as important, focus on making a pizza that would stand out amongst the sea of slices and styles that are available in Flagstaff. Making pizza is his passion. It is something he loves to do. He didn’t want to lose that love and simultaneously wanted the business to be an avenue toward a stable income. Former restaurant owner and Coconino Community College SBDC analyst Jim Hunter was a perfect resource for Caleb.
Schiff spent time in Europe before he considered opening a restaurant and it was there that he recognized and began to embrace the belief that less is more. Such a place –where less is more – was missing in the Flagstaff food scene. To stand out and enable success, he knew Pizzicletta couldn’t be just another pizza place, so he set out to combine a model of old-world simplicity with a kitchen that was aspirational in its food and wine. Pizza, home-made gelato, a unique selection of wine and beers, and friendly, knowledgeable and unpretentious service established the perfect recipe for success. With that model he has relied on word-of-mouth referrals since day one. Therefore, advertising expenses rarely exceed $100 a month. Each day is new and fresh. Schiff says he learns something new every day and still makes mistakes, but feels like his business has hit a comfortable stride in 2013. Pizzicletta has been recognized as an Arizona Highways top 25 restaurants, Phoenix Magazines top 50 restaurants, and three times in Sunset Magazine. His loyal customer base is expanding and sales are increasing!
Schiff gives significant credit for the execution of his business plan to support and advice from the Coconino Community College SBDC. “Jim Hunter was an invaluable resource! He walked me through cash flow spreadsheets, amortization of loans and pay-off times, in addition to advice about employee retention, pricing, customer engagement and future growth. Many ambitious entrepreneurs across the country have reached out to me for advice and one of my first recommendations is to seek out and approach their local SBDC for guidance.”