A: Mr. & Mrs. Magaro Catering Co.
Q: Who owns the business?
A: Jeannette and Ricci (“Rick”) Magaro.
Q: How long have you been in business?
A: This particular entity is only a few months old, but we have owned and operated Nikoli’s Pizza and Catering in Lower Allen Township for almost 12 years.
Q: Can you provide me with a description of your business?
A: We recently opened this business to start competing with more established catering companies in the area. We pride ourselves on creating custom menus for business or social events. We can cater anything from a breakfast buffet to a business mixer, a small wedding to a bridal shower. As a husband-and-wife team of many years, we realize that our differences are what make us a great team. Ricci is extremely detailed and wants his creations to score a “10” with our customers. Combine that with my customer service skills and creative menu ideas and we are a duo to be reckoned with.
Q: How did you get started?
A: When most people think of a pizza shop, they think of grabbing a slice or a sandwich. While you can get this at Nikoli’s Pizza, the backbone of our business is fulfilling large business and personal catering orders. As we developed relationships in the community, some folks wanted to see a more high-end menu with more detailed services. We want to give our customers what they want.
Q: What is your background?
A: As a married couple we have more than 50 years in the food industry. We both tended bar in college and are very hands-on in our business. I have a business background and Rick is very proud that his experience began when he was a dishwasher, and that he worked his way up to learning how to make pizza, becoming a business owner, and gaining catering skills to take us to the place we are now. I take charge of working with the business side and our customer base, while Rick is very involved operationally.
Q: How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business?
A: I don’t think it is possible to gain a degree or an internship in this field because the industry is very hard work. We work seven days a week and are not operating 9-5 hours. Additionally, as owners of a business where we work closely with employees, we wear so many different hats that we learn as we go. You salute your good decisions and learn from your bad ones. There are a few places where you cannot compromise, and those are food quality, service and consistency. Any misses there and you are done, because there is so much competition and the margins are just not there.
Q: What is your biggest challenge as a small business owner?
A: Given our current economic situation, our #1 expense is the cost of goods (food). Those costs are high, unpredictable and uncontrollable. We have to make sure we are charging enough money to remain in business, but we also want to be considerate to our customers. I see this as a continued issue in our industry. Additionally, as a business owner in general I often feel as though some of the decisions the government makes are keeping small businesses from prospering. One of the new pieces of legislation involves the responsibility of fraudulent charges with credit cards. Liability is now shifting to small-business owners, and we still pay high fees to accept credit cards. Most small-business owners want to do the right thing, but we are given more fees and liability instead of education. It is a shame, but we have to accept such things in our current economic situation.
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