At 16 years old, Bruce Jackson was flipping pizza at the original Johnny’s Pizza in Manlius, New York. He loved the business: serving piping hot pizza — always made with fresh, authentic ingredients — to happy customers, sitting down with the locals on a Friday night for a slice, or feeding the high school football team after a win. He saw opportunity. And he wanted to build his own. Most of our franchise operators are familiar with the feeling.
In three short years, Bruce opened a Johnny’s Pizza just off the Syracuse University campus with Johnny’s younger brother Rosario. After six years of success there, Bruce and a new business partner, Scott Allen, were ready for a move to warmer weather! Atlanta, Georgia is where they landed. In 1977, Bruce and Scott wrote “Now Open” on a pizza box, stuck it in the front window of their storefront in Atlanta, and started selling pizza. One year later, they opened a second store. As entrepreneurs, they saw bigger potential in the brand and the business model they’d so carefully fine-tuned. In 1994, they officially began to franchise.