Chris Mohrhardt always knew he wanted to follow his father’s footsteps and have a small business of his own someday. After owning and operating Incredible Mo’s for four years – a family entertainment center in Traverse City - he soon realized how deep this desire really was. Chris decided to pursue another business venture and, in 2016, purchased Pangea’s Pizza. And thus, he continued his entrepreneurial journey…
“I was looking for a second business and second opportunity to be a part of the community,”
“Like Incredible Mo’s Pangea’s Pizza is in the heart of Traverse City. When we heard it was for sale, it seemed like the perfect fit.”
To purchase the business and building, Chris assembled a team of lending partners he had previously worked with on Incredible Mo’s. Together with the
Economic Development Foundation
and Independent Bank, he secured a SBA 504 loan, providing him with the stability he needed to move forward with this second business venture.
and the SBA 504 loan put me in a way better position, not only from a cash flow perspective, but in the terms of the loan as well,”
“You won’t find something like this anywhere else.”
Through this program, Chris was able to purchase the Pangea’s Pizza building and business at a fixed, below-market rate for a longer term.
“I had the luxury of working with
on Incredible Mo’s so I was more than happy to be working with them again. In addition to being familiar with me, they were a lot of help on the business and financial side, especially because this was a technical project from an architectural standpoint. I felt like they weren’t just there to gather information, but that they genuinely wanted me to be successful.”
And the business has been booming ever since…
Since the purchase, Chris has seen a significant increase in revenue. In addition, he has been able to hire an additional 30 employees, increase payroll, and add a rooftop deck to better accommodate and serve their customers. He has also seen a significant increase in tips – a great indicator that their customer service is at the next level. But his favorite part? Being able to become more involved in the community. Pangea’s Pizza is a partner of Big Brothers Big Sisters, allowing children and their "Bigs" to visit Pangea’s and enjoy a free pizza and soda on the house.
“We recognize that organizations like this are truly making a difference in the lives of others,”
“The least we can do it enable them to go out and have a good meal without having to pay for it.”
Pangea’s Pizza is also a proud partner of Child and Family Services, Good Will, and many other community non-profits. Between the two businesses, they’ve been a proud recipient of the Supportive Workplace Award by Networks Northwest, the Child and Family Services partnership award, the Big Difference Award for Big Brothers and Big Sisters, the Red Hot Best award, and many other local recognitions. And Chris gives all his thanks back to his staff.
“I make sure the bills are paid, but it’s really the staff who are at the front lines,”
“They’re the ones that will walk half a block to return a favorite book to the little kids who left it in the booth, take orders and serve the customers, and all in all make the business tick. I couldn’t do any of that without them.”