The building that was, for many years, home to Mayfield Hardware is now the home for “Your Pie”. It opened on Saturday, Feb. 20, to the greatest numbers as any in the history of the Your Pie organization. The hardware store moved all its operations out to its location on Hwy. 278 several years ago. But through “Your Pie”, along with a new clothing store coming in March, the old building is coming alive again.
On Sunday, the second day of operation for Your Pie on the Square, my wife and I were nearing the restaurant when two ladies we did not know spoke to us, saying “You are in for a treat.” And indeed we were.
The first Your Pie opened in Athens, and now there are 29 locations. All but five are currently in the Southeast. There are 50 more in the pipeline to be developed soon. The idea of “down-the-line pizza” started with Your Pie. Down-the-line means you watch as your pizza is built with the ingredients you choose. All the pizzas are hand tossed and then baked in a brick oven. As your pizza is being cooked, you get your beverage of choice and a salad if you choose the combo. The staff brings your pizza to your table.
Your Pie was brought to Covington by two 2007 graduates of George Walton Academy, Andrew Williams and Ross Bradley. After going off to college, Ross to Ole Miss and Andrew to Georgia, they became partners in a Your Pie in the Snellville area in 2014. They bring that experience to their new venture on the Covington Square.
It becomes “Your Pie” when order what you desire on your pizza. You can have whatever combination of toppings that you desire. One great example of this is the story Bradley shared with me, a young 4-year-old customer they have at the Snellville Store. Almost every week, sometimes more, he comes and orders “his pizza”. He orders, “One slice of peperoni, black olives and romaine lettuce.” Now that would not be my choices, but the customer gets it the way they want. After all is it “Your Pie”. They can meet most dietary needs as they offer vegan pizzas as well as gluten free.
It was an amazing week for two reasons. One, the restaurant set a new corporate opening record. Two, just two days after his restaurant’s opening, Williams had his first child, Andrew Loren Williams, Jr. But Bradley will not be far behind as he and his wife is expecting their first child, May 17.
One important goal for Your Pie is to invest back into the community. One way that they do this is to partner with a local agency making a difference in the life of others. In Covington they have partnered with Action Ministry. Those who came for the practice run “soft opening” a few days before the Grand Opening, donated over $3,500.00 to Action Ministry. This money will support such programs dealing with hunger right here in Newton County, examples are “Smart Lunch, Smart Kids” — a summer program, and “Back Pack Buddies” — a week-end program.
Another way they invest in the future of the community is the leadership training they give to their staff. They draw from area high schools. One of the principles they share is a passion for constant demand for details. This idea is that if you do things right, customers will tell two or three people about their experience. Just like the lady that met us Sunday and told us we were in for a treat. But if they fail to live up to the customer’s expectations, they may tell 20 or 30 people. This lesson can be taken into any trade or profession in the future. The goal is creating future leaders in a professional environment.
Future plans include using the large screen TV for movie nights as well as showing football games in the fall. There will also be nights when live music will be featured. And the Covington City Council approved the possibility of outdoor dining.
As the more-than-100-year-old building comes alive, there is a continuing “ripple” effect as the area around the Square continues to be transformed. The first week end in March will see an opening of a shop in the other portion of the old Hardware, “Sweet River Boutique/Rough River Outfitters”.
Stop by and enjoy at hand tossed pizza. A sign tells the four steps as you enter. “Order, Build, Fire, Enjoy.” Whether is it pizza or an open face Panini, or salad you choose for your entry, it will be your way. For dessert they offer a variety of flavors of Gelato. You are in store for a treat at the old hardware building.