Every slice is a knockout at Rocky’s Pizza & “R” Bar. Established in 1977, Rocky’s has been making their pizza with handmade dough, signature sauces and fresh toppings sliced daily for 45 years. A little more than 25 miles northeast of Portland, Ore., you can find Rocky’s in a small town called Battle Ground in Washington. Co-Owner & Operator Gianni Carbone explains the challenges they’ve faced and why they never had to throw in the towel.
What inspired you to get into foodservice?
“My aunt and uncle owned a restaurant in Vancouver, Washington, called Pinot Ganache. Although the restaurant closed shortly after I was born, I was fortunate enough to grow up being surrounded by amazing cooks. At 17, I moved to Dallas, Texas, and worked for Mimi’s Cafe as a busser; this was my first real foodservice job. I really fell in love with the industry as I grew from a busser to server, bartender, management and now, in ownership.
What I love most about this industry is the wide range of skills you learn along the way. Teamwork, leadership, critical thinking and problem solving under pressure to name a few. I believe this industry teaches you the true value of hard work, and how to remain in control when your emotions are getting hot. This has helped me in my professional and personal pursuit.”
What do you love about your business?
“In addition to the pizza, I love the history of Rocky’s. The nostalgia of this place is what separates us from others. Our business started in 1977, and I can’t count how many times families have come in to our humungous log cabin facility with their heads bent back, gazing at the high ceilings of our rustic atmosphere. More often than not people who come in with their children tell me they remember coming here as a kid with their parents.”
What’s the most interesting thing to happen to your business?
“Some stories are better left untold; we have some pretty interesting characters that work here! One of our most recent interesting highlights is when Zach Roloff from the show Little People Big World came in to have pizza with his family. That was awesome!”
What is the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?
“The biggest challenge Rocky’s Pizza faced was the amount of large chain pizza companies coming into our small town here in Battle Ground. Business mogul Warren Buffett said, ‘The most important factor in business is the durability of a company’s competitive advantage.’ We have stood the test of time, and competition for 45 years! We’re really proud of our restaurant’s continuous high volume business considering all the other options for pizza in town!”
Which Cambro products help make your business work?
“Definitely the Camshelving and the CamSquares. Before Camshelving we used wire rack shelving that was a disaster to clean and maintain, not to mention the rust. Camshelving makes our walk-in organized and easy to clean because of its removable shelves that we run through our dishwasher. We love Cambro!”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: ADRIANA DESIDERIO IS THE DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER AT CAMBRO.