When John Olson
moved to Cary in October of 2000 he
was among the thousands of new faces moving to a town exploding with growth.He
knew no one.And no one knew him.Fast forward to 2004 and Cary is still growing.But now Olson, owner of The Loop Pizza Grill
, has created quite a name for himself and is meeting new people every day.
The Loop, located on Kildaire Farm Road in Cary, serves three types of food: pizza, grilled sandwiches and salads.Olson
staff are constantly recognized by local newspapers and Internet surveys for "Best Family Restaurant," "Best Cheap Eats" and the list goes on.But all of this didn't happen overnight. Olson started working for The Loop in 1991 as an assistant manager in Florida.He
had moved to Florida from Illinois to pursue the woman who would later become his
wife.A few years later, Olson was promoted to field area supervisor for The Loop, and visited restaurants throughout Florida, Georgia and North Carolina.
felt it just wasn't enough.
"It was nice," said Olson
."I had an office, a plant, a window and coffee was ready in the morning.But it wasn't the same as being involved with people and customers every day."Olson decided to leave his supervisor position in Florida and become an owner of a Loop Pizza franchise.
Enter Cary, NC.
"Even though it was less money and more work, it was a lot more interesting to be doing it all myself as opposed to working for somebody," notes Olson
."I'm in control of everything and everything I do has an impact on me, whether it is good or bad."
Before opening The Loop
in Cary, Olson
took a job delivering pizzas to become familiar with the area.He
also took another small step that made a huge impact.Olson became a member of the Cary Chamber of Commerce.
"It was instant networking," said Olson
and The Loop
have found their place in the community, while expanding their fan base, as well as their restaurants.Olson
three business partners from Florida are set to open another Loop in the Westpark Plaza off Highhouse and Maynard in West Cary.Olson
is aiming to open its doors by January.
"I like the area and what's happening here," said Olson
, an extravert and people person, is not easily silenced.However, when asked his
'must haves' from the menu he
had to pause for a moment and break it down into categories.
"I think our pizza is fantastic and better than most," said Olson
Here are Olson's
"I have been very, very blessed to have a staff that doesn't turn over," said Olson
As are many Chamber members, Olson
and The Loop
are very active in the community.Olson
admits, "I have a hard time turning anybody down that wants something." Olson
is very involved with local schools.To name a few, The Loop
helps sponsor East Cary Middle School's honor roll, the fine arts program at Green Hope High School
, the band at Cary High School
and athletics at Apex High School
also donates pizza to Relay for Life. To try one of the items on Olson's "must have" list or any other meal, stop by The Loop Pizza Grill at 1207 Kildaire Farm Road, call 919-657-0330 or visit www.looppizzagrill.com