Friday, March 12, 2010

OU Grad Builds on Pizza Love

by Rachel Nebozuk

It was Spring Quarter of 1989 when John Moore, an Ohio University business major, decided he was going to open his own pizza shop. By November of that year, he was a recent graduate, a small business owner and pizza connoisseur. There aren’t many early twenty-somethings who are able to find this kind of success at such a young age, which sets John, and his popular pizza shop, Cardo’s, apart from the rest.

John spent nearly six years throughout his high school and college days working at another Cardo’s location in Waverly.

“I thought owning my own pizza business would be a dream come true,” John said.

After catching wind of his potential plans, John’s Cardo’s boss, Lloyd Harmon, suggested he consider opening a Jackson location. And without another pizza shop quite like it in the area, John’s restaurant quickly became a local favorite.

Cardo’s was originally located in a small shop on Broadway Street in Jackson County, offering only pickup and delivery. By 1997, however, the business was booming and John knew it was time to expand. Cardo’s relocated to its current location on W. South Street, near the historic Henry’s Grocery Store. The bigger restaurant allowed Cardo’s to offer a 100-seat dining area with an all-you-can-eat buffet and a private party and conference room.

In 2004, in the ultimate love story, John married one of his former Cardo’s employees, Jenny Armstrong. The pair has been living together happily ever since and despite the struggling economy, Cardo’s has been thriving as well. Last year, Cardo’s celebrated 20 years in business.

As Cardo’s became more and more popular amongst residents of Jackson, the facility wasn’t the only thing to expand; so was the menu. Today, Cardo’s offers nearly endless pizza possibilities, including 13 signature combos. One of the newest additions is the Fiesta Veggie, with green and hot peppers, green and black olives, red onion and tomato. Customer favorites include the Chicken Bacon Ranch and the Buffalo Chicken Pizza, which is complete with diced chicken drenched in Frank’s hot sauce (one of John’s favorites.)

Cardo’s also offers a slew of mouthwatering appetizers, 22 kinds of burgers and subs, eight different salads, spaghetti, lasagna and chicken parmesan. Cardo’s food, however, isn’t the only thing John prides himself on. He believes he has some of the friendliest employees who are dedicated to giving top of the line customer service.

“Sometimes I say I love my employees so much, I married one,” John said of his wife, Jenny, with a chuckle.

No comments: