BRAD NIEMEIER, OWNER - Azzip started as a project in school. I was taking entrepreneurship classes, took the idea to my professor and he loved it. He loved the simplicity of it. He loved the uniqueness of it. And he really encouraged me to enter into the Business Plan Competition at Purdue. And so I did that. Ended up winning that competition and won $20,000 to go towards starting Azzip Pizza. And so I came back here to Evansville, met with my family, convinced them that this was a good idea. It took a little time living in mom and dad's basement, and in 2014 we opened the first store on the west side of Evansville. Azzip was an opportunity for us all to come back here to Evansville, work together, work together as a family. I love the family aspect of it.
ANDY NIEMEIER - We treat each other differently I think, because we're family and can communicate more openly because we're family. There's tough discussions that still happen as within any business. But we know that we have each other's best intentions at heart. That we share the same values, share the same goals.
BRAD - So we got Dan, who's dad, Laura, who's mom, Craig who's little brother and Andy who's big brother. And then we've got Blake too, who is the chef for Azzip, the brains behind all of our unique, fun, creative pizzas.
BLAKE - We use high quality, premium ingredients that you won't find in most pizza restaurants. It's the same quality that we used when I was at the country club and working in four star hotels in big cities.
JEFF BONE, BUSINESS BANKER - We sat down and really talked about looking at what the right level of debt was with regard to what they were wanting to do. And we take our role really seriously. We never wanna put our customers in a compromising situation. So we spent a lot of time looking at the projections, looking at the business plan, looking at the concept, looking at the competition in the area. And talking really, through every facet of what they were gonna be facing as a new business.
BLAKE - The relationship with Old National has been just a great partnership since we started. Jeff has just done an amazing job of being there for us when we needed something. To help guide us when we're making different decisions and things like that. And just always being a cheerleader for us. He shows up to the grand openings even, you know four hours away. And it feels like he's truly invested in this partnership.
ANDY - It's great to have a bank partner that you trust. And also to have a person at that bank that you trust completely. That you know has your best intentions in mind, and he really wants to see your business succeed. He wants to see you succeed. He wants to help you grow and be there as a partner along the way through that growth.
BRAD - Azzips are located across Indiana and Kentucky now. We're in Evansville which is where we started. Opening our fourth location in the Evansville area. And then we've kind of branched out and spread out to other midsize kinda markets. Places like Bloomington, Layfette, Terre Haute, Bowling Green, Kentucky and Owensboro, Kentucky. And we're branching out and doing our first major market in Indianapolis.
ANDY - The most pride I feel is when I hear from a customer about an experience they had at Azzip that revolves around a team member of ours going out of their way to create an awesome experience for them.
BRAD - And we have about 200 employees now. I mean we couldn't do what we do without great teams in the store that are providing awesome customer experiences for our customers.
JEFF - I think the future with Azzip is, it's as far as they wanna go. And I think as you talk with them, they'll tell you that at the size they are today they're having fun. And I think that's the important thing. We've got the resources from a financing perspective to grow with them as large as they wanna grow.
ANDY - I know we have that partner in Old National. I know we have that partner that we trust and we can continue to grow to help us, help us fund that growth and also to just be a partner to bounce ideas off of. So to gut check us and make sure we're making smart decisions about our growth. And we know that as we continue to grow in these new markets that we're gonna be working with Jeff and ONB to help us to be able to enter those and help us reach our goals. And I just continue to see that relationship deepen over the years to come, as we continue to try to grow.
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