Interview with Mikey Sorboro owner of the Award Winning and Famous Mikey’s Late Night Slice
by Andrew R. Spriegel
NuVo Grand, LLC
September 8, 2012
Andrew: My friend and business partner, Greg Getzinger loved the pizza at your Columbus location, the slogans and the bar next door. Your business is exploding!
Mikey: Hey thanks for the praises guys! I always enjoy having a slice on the patio when you make it to town. Yes, Late Night Slice is keeping us pretty busy! You know, there are a lot of, not only great pizza joints, but hundreds upon hundreds of great restaurants in Columbus. We’re very lucky to live in such a culinary diverse area. I want people to think of Late Night Slice, not so much as a pizza shop, but as a late night destination eateries. Growing up in northeast Ohio, it seems like we always had a few out-of-the-way eateries. Like a root beer stand, or a burger joint. Some place your family would go every once and awhile, but more so, a place you would take your friends or relatives when they come to visit. A place that’s fun, cool, or unique. A place you’re proud to have in your town. That’s what we had in mind when we built the first LNS, and that’s why I hope people visit us and come back. Oh, and I also like to think we have some damn good pizza too!
Andrew: What pizza is your signature pizza and why that particular pizza?
Mikey: We actually have four signature pizzas. Cheese with Fresh Basil, Mushroom with Roasted Garlic, Plain-Ass Pepperoni, and Spicy-Ass Pepperoni. We also have a rotating pizza of the week that ranges anywhere from a Mac & Cheese pizza, to a Poutine pizza (yes, like French fries and brown gravy and cheese!) to meat lovers style to even the spiciest pizza known to man; the Firey Death with Hate Sausage. This hot-as-hell entry is made with the hottest peppers on earth and has been known to bring even the strongest willed folks to their knees!
Andrew: As a place to do business, why did you choose Columbus?
Mikey: Columbus is such a great city to do business in for so many reasons. For one, this city is still growing into itself. As in, there are so many businesses thriving in other city’s that just aren’t here yet. It’s almost a “build it and they will come” climate here which is so great for entrepreneurs. A city that’s so ripe for new ideas just needs people to come in and make them happen!
Andrew: What is your least favorite cooking trend?
Mikey: A current food trend that I find a bit annoying currently is the booming popularity of food trucks. Now don’t get me wrong, I have two, and those truck contribute more to my bottom line than almost any other location. I just see a lot of people jumping on this bandwagon like its the next get rich quick” scheme not realizing how much work goes into operating a successful food truck. A food truck has not only the problems of a normal restaurant (staffing issues, equipment failures, etc.) but it also has the problems of a vehicle (breakdowns!!, repairs, storage issues) plus, you’ve got to have some where to park the thing -legally, where you will have strong sales!
Andrew: What is your least favorite cooking trend?
Mikey: It’s taken almost a full 3 years to hit our stride with our mobile units and we still have much work to do.
Andrew: What famous customers have come into your shop?
Mikey: We’ve haven’t had a lot of famous people come through the shops, that we know of anyway. Jennifer Coolidge (Stiffler’s mom!) stopped a year back or so. We have delivered to a bunch of bands though, including My Morning Jacket, LMFAO, Band of Horses, Bieber, and some others.
Andrew: What do you think when you hear someone say: “I think owning a pizza shop like fun.”
Mikey: When I hear people say that owning a pizza shop sounds like fun, I tell them it is! But I also tell them, like anyone who is successfully self employed, you will work harder for yourself, then you ever will working for somebody else.
Andrew: Give me 5 words to describe your pizza.
Mikey: 5 words to describe LNS: Kick-Ass Pizza by the Slice, which is also one of our slogans. Others include, Pay. Eat. Leave., “The Black Sheep of Columbus pizza joints”, Pizza be with you, and our mascot, PizzaFace, who’s tag line is “I wanna be inside you!”
Andrew: Mikey’s Late Night Slice is a great name, how did you come up with it?
Mikey: The name Late Night Slice came pretty organically. It really just came from the thought “what are we going to be doing? Serving late night slices…” Bam! LNS was born. The decision to add “Mikey’s” was not mine, and something I really had to be talked into. My partner Jason pretty much demanded it. I guess it’s worked out!
Andrew: Do you have any slogans?
Mikey: The artwork, style and general disposition of LNS are very much the brain child of my partner Jason. Being a talented designer and photographer, his imagery really a brought my ideas into focus. I give him credit for a great deal of the success of LNS.
Andrew: How many pizza shops do you own and what is your website?
Mikey: Currently we have 5 “brick and mortar” shops and two mobile units. We are aiming to have another local unit by spring. After that, the plan is to relax on growth, and focus on our internal systems and franchising. We have a lot of work to do!
Andrew: Your logos and artwork are fantastic, who does you work?
Mikey: My favorite customer stories are on our Yelp page. The good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s all there to help tell our story!
Mikey: 5 things I would tell other shop owners are simple; 1) get someone good to do your graphics and logo. Make yourself into a brand! This is an investment, treat it as such. Especially if you have or want more than one location. 2) Treat the people you hire with respect and pay them accordingly. These folks are the face of your company, make sure those faces are smiling. 3) Be unique. You know the old 10% rule. You only have to be 10% better than your competition to stand out. Don’t reinvent pizza, reinvent something about it! 4) Work hard. Hard work brings success. No truer words have ever been spoken. 5) Relax and have fun. Celebrate your wins, and work hard on your losses. Don’t stand so close to the trees that you can’t see the forest and remember…it’s only pizza!
Mikey: Check out our Facebook page, and our website – www.latenightslice.com for daily updates and more info! Thanks again for contacting me Andrew, I had a blast writing it. Feel free to call or email if you need anymore info.
Mikey have a great vacation in Key West!
Late Night Slice