The Pizza Factory is Hawthorne is once again under new management.
California native Kenneth Smith is the third person to take over the struggling business since January, but he believes he can revitalize it with a renewed focus on clean facilities and quality food.
Smith took over the business on Nov. 1. His first action as manager was to close down for a week and scour every nook and cranny of the restaurant to make ready for a new philosophy of pizza making.
“I wouldn’t serve any food that I wouldn’t eat myself,” Smith said. “If I put my own high standards in play, everybody else should, hopefully, be getting premium product. I hold myself to a very high standard.”
The quality of everything — the store, the customer service and the food — will all be improved under Smith’s leadership, he said.
“I wouldn’t expect somebody to come in and buy a pizza and not be happy with it,” he said. “I know when I go to a restaurant and spend money I expect what I want. I expect what I deserve for my money.”
Smith said he’s worked in food service for 15 years. The Hawthorne establishment is the first restaurant he’s owned, he said.
“It’s an opportunity for my family to have a future,” he said. “Where we were living we didn’t really have a future, so we decided to buy the Pizza Factory.”
Pizza Factory, a chain with restaurants dotting northern Nevada, appeals to Smith because of its family ideals and focus, he said.
Smith moved his family to Hawthorne at the end of October to run the pizzeria. He chose Hawthorne, he said, because there is a Pizza Factory there.
“I like the mountains, and I like the history of the area,” Smith said. “I’d done some research on the area before we came out, and I’m really intrigued by history.
“We like small towns, we’re from a small town ourselves,” he continued. “We like to be involved in small communities. We wanted to get out of California and Hawthorne just seemed like the place to go.”