Members of the Krumeich family really had no idea they would still be in the pizza business 25 years after they started.
Pizza Plus, which originally opened on Main Street in Escalon, celebrates its 25th anniversary this month, having opened the doors on April 19, 1993.
“I had just turned six,” said Peter Krumeich, who took over the day-to-day operations from his dad Bill Krumeich a few years ago.
The business relocated to the Vineyard Square Shopping Center several years ago and settled in to Suite 104. Now, they are expanding and taking over Suite 103 as well. The existing business in 103, Escalon Insurance, will be moving to another location within the shopping center at 1900 McHenry Avenue.
“We want to focus more on a banquet room space,” Peter said of expanding to the suite next door.
Rather than take out an entire wall, the plan is to cut a doorway into the wall and open up into the large banquet space. It is projected to include 60 seats, several televisions and will feature Escalon sports and community memorabilia. Peter said it will serve primarily as a room for birthday parties or sports club gatherings.
Currently, the Pizza Plus location does have a main dining area and a small private party room off to one side but the need to expand into a larger banquet hall will help them meet future needs of the community.
“We were never thinking long term like that,” dad Bill admitted of the 25-year milestone. “We were just taking it one day at a time. I was thrilled to be able to hand it off to Peter.”
Bill said that a fresh approach has been welcome.
“He’s young and enthusiastic,” Bill noted of his son.
Adding that it was “the perfect situation for us,” when they opened in 1993, Bill said he and his wife Wendy had three children who all helped out at one time or another with the family business. They include Peter and his sisters Stephanie and Katie.
“I bring my kids in here now,” Peter said. “My oldest son is almost the same age I was when we started … it’s the circle of life.”
Pizzas, sandwiches, a family atmosphere and a business that gives back to the community are the hallmarks that both father and son feel have contributed to their longevity.
“It’s nice to be a part of Escalon and this expansion is just an effort on our part to serve the community,” Peter noted.
There isn’t expected to be any down time for the business, as the expansion should be a fairly easy project, not impacting the baking of pizzas and the making of sandwiches.
“We’ve had 25 years of being in Escalon, contributing to the community,” Peter summarized. “We want it to be another 25 years.”