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Many restaurants close before their first anniversary. Not so for Farinacci Pizza in Hudson, located at 86 Owen Brown St., where after 10 years of selling handmade pizzas and fresh salads, the family-run business has earned a reputation for quality food and authentic relationships.
"We look people in the eye, learn their names, engage them and get to know what matters to them because that's how we show love by putting the needs of others first," said owner Dave Janotka.
Janotka knows a thing or two about people and business, having spent 18 years in management in the mortgage lending industry in Cleveland. He bought the pizza store in 2009 never having owned a restaurant or ever making a pizza. So he did what he does best--work hard and pray.
Evidence of this commitment to hard work is seen in the restaurant's award-winning pizza. Farinacci Pizza-Hudson was a recent finalist in the Cleveland.com's Northeast Ohio Best Pizza Competition.
"But even more endearing to me, our pizza was voted best pizza in Hudson by the fifth grade class at East Woods Elementary School," said Janotka.
"Prayer is a big part of this restaurant. I pray with pastors here on Tuesday mornings. I use a prayer request board to pray daily while making the dough. And my wife, Karin, and I pray at night together for customer concerns and for the teens that work at the store. There have even been times when we have spontaneously prayed with customers right in the store. Prayer has no boundaries in this place," he said.
"We're striving to be a blessing to this community," Dave continued. "That's reflected in our mission statement: Work hard, encourage others and give generously to the Glory of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. That's why we have been very successful. Even though I make a lot of dough, I don't make a lot of money. But we do try to be very generous."
Numerous organizations and churches have received financial and food donations from Farinacci Pizza-Hudson over the last 10 years. And although the store is closed on Sunday's, three years ago it began taking orders on Super Bowl Sunday, with all sales being donated to the Student Assistance Endowment Fund through the Hudson Community Foundation.
Not only has Farinacci PizzaHudson given generously to the community over the years, but Dave found himself the recipient of some generous giving last summer, when he received a kidney transplant from his brother, Mike. While he recovered, more than 50 customer volunteers helped the teen staff keep the business running as usual.
"Our customers worked, prayed, bought pizza and salads and went with the flow during my absence. Our family was truly blessed by hundreds of people," he said.
"The staff that works here has been a key "ingredient" to our success," Dave reflected. "Over the last 10 years, we have had more than 40 teens, including my five kids, my mom, my brother and volunteers who have worked, or are currently working here. For many of the young teens, this is their first job and we get to be a positive influence in their lives. It has been a joy being a part of their lives and our community."
Dave also credits his wife, Karin, with the store's success.
"She works tirelessly, and though most of her work is behind the scenes, she has been a tremendous blessing to the teens, the customers and to me. It's been a fantastic run, and we look forward to the next 10 years--Lord willing."