Zachary's Chicago Pizza, Inc. Celebrates 30th Anniversary! 1993-2013

Zach Zachowski and Barbara Gabel, founders of Zachary's Chicago Pizza. RINA client profile.

“You have a choice as to how you will impact the world you live in. You can be a positive force, and what better thing to dedicate your life to? For the two of us to have partnered to build Zachary's, and then hand it off to such a deserving group of employees/owners validates all we believe in and have strived for. That the customers continue to receive the product and service they've come to value is a sweet thing.  We are now happy Zachary's customers ourselves.” Founders - Zach Zachowski and Barbara Gabel 

Kevin Suto, CEO of Zachary’s, spent his late teens in Berkeley and has been in the Zachary’s family since 1984. He has worked every position from dishwasher to CEO, and still makes pizzas and washes dishes from time to time.   His goal for Zachary’s is quite simple.  “Stay true to our roots”.  Our motto is:  “Do the right thing, the right way, for the right reason”. We are always looking for ways to improve our product and our customer experience. 

Zachary’s currently has four locations: Berkeley, Oakland, San Ramon and Pleasant Hill.  Zachary’s is known for their Chicago-style stuffed pizza, although they make the traditional thin crust pizza as well.  All of their ingredients are the finest and freshest available. Customers can order a half-baked pizza to finish in their own oven at home at their convenience. They provide a variety of salads and all the dressings are made in house.

While their restaurants appear to be very hectic and fast paced, the product itself is really the antithesis of fast. Every pizza is hand made with great care. Good stuffed pizza takes time — several minutes to build, and then almost a half an hour to cook in the oven. The pizza is really slow food and the flavor develops as it cooks. Dinner time at Zachary’s is their time to be in a fast paced environment, and time for customers to relax, have a cold beer, and enjoy their dining experience after a crazy day at work or shuffling the kids from school to soccer practices.

Kevin states “We embrace and thrive on the “family” atmosphere in our workplace. Our employees are treated well and earn wages and benefits extremely rare in the restaurant industry.  We are 100% employee owned and therefore locally owned.  Many of our employees have been here since the early days.”  

Zachary’s has been honored with over 150 “Best Pizza” awards in various publications and readers’ polls.  What Kevin is most proud of is the legacy and reputation that Zachary’s has earned over the 30 years. He says “I love it when I hear a customer say that they have been coming here for 10, 20 or more years, and that we are as good now as we were then. I hear that often, which is rewarding.”  Zack and Barbara agree with Kevin - “The true sense of goodwill that has been consistently generated over the 30+ years requires focus and dedication from the crew every single day.  Zach and I always compared it to a strong brick wall being built brick by brick, day by day.  That customers feel a sense of loyalty and respect for the business is deeply gratifying.”

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