“There is little turnover with our staff and they get to know the regulars pretty well,” said Valorie Green, who owns the 12-year-old establishment with her husband, John.
The Oggi’s franchise was originated by two brothers, George and John Hadjis, who began dishing out their own pizza in 1991. After more than two decades working in the technology industry, George and John opened their first restaurant in Del Mar. Throughout the years, the restaurant concept has evolved from a pizzeria style to a sports-themed restaurant with many televisions to the evolution into the brewing industry. Today, the Oggi’s Pizza and Brewing Company franchise consists of 17 stores with locations in Apple Valley, Corona, Del Mar, Mission Viejo and other locales.
John and Valorie, who used to live in San Diego, opened their eatery on Via Linda in early 2000 and have been going strong ever since.
“We picked Mission Viejo because it has a reputation as a safe and wonderful place to raise your family and it is known to be business friendly,” Valorie said. “From the very beginning, the City of Mission Viejo welcomed us into the city …”
The couple has rolled out the red carpet to the community and routinely uses the eatery as a vehicle for giving back.
“Our restaurant concept is sports oriented and so we actively support many local sports teams,” Valorie said. “We don’t limit our community involvement to sports only and also donate to local churches, synagogues and other school programs – drama, music, booster club, and cheer. In-house fundraisers are done throughout the year and we donate 20% of sales to the organizations. We have had the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society do many fundraisers and donate to our neighbor Vocational Visions as well …”
While Oggi’s is known for its community spirit, it’s most famous for its pizza. In fact, the company is the official pizza of the San Diego Chargers, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, The Anaheim Ducks and The Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale, Arizona, according to its website. Customers also love their wings along with hand-crafted and micro-brewed beers, Valorie said. To offer sports fan a new twist, the Mission Viejo restaurant has teamed up with BOB! (Board Our Bus) to provide folks with a hassle-free way to attend San Diego Charger games at Qualcomm Stadium by boarding a motor coach at the restaurant. (Details are at www.ridebob.com.)
While the economy is always a factor to any business, Valorie said their biggest challenge is keeping abreast of current trends in the dining industry and keeping true to their core brand and customers.
“We so appreciate the support the community of Mission Viejo has given back to us for the past 12 years,” she said.
This is the first of a new Business Column the Mission Viejo Life Blog will feature regularly. To be considered for a feature, contact BlogNews@cityofmissionviejo.org.