Andrew Williams and Ross Bradley left Covington after graduating from George Walton Academy in 2007 and have now returned to bring a new restaurant to the Covington Square.
That restaurant, Your Pie, will open Saturday and not only bring a new pizza experience to Covington but also revitalize a historic building, help raise money for a local organization and provide leadership training to Newton County’s youth.
Your Pie is a fast-casual concept that offers pizza, Panini or chopped salad all at $7.99. If pizza is your choice, you can select white, wheat or gluten free (for an additional cost) dough, and pick from several sauces, cheeses and toppings as you place your order.
“The main idea is to find something on the menu and customize whatever you want going down the line,” Williams said. “Another thing that’s cool and what we’re really proud of is that we can accommodate most every dietary restriction — if you’re vegetarian, if you’re vegan, if you’re gluten free, or a straight up carnivore. Everybody can come and get what they want.”
The food isn’t the only thing Williams and Bradley are proud of in being a part of Your Pie. They are boastful of the company’s willingness to give back.
The duo started a program called Dine and Donate in their Snellville location, in which they use a week of training as an opportunity to raise money for a local organization. Your Pie employees go through a week of training prior to opening, cooking for and serving live customers. In the Dine and Donate program those customers donate toward a charity selected by Williams and Bradley.
This week the Your Pie Covington owners selected Action ministries as the donation recipient.
“The part of what we’re doing and the reason we love Your Pie because it gives us the opportunity to build a community and build a something that’s more than a restaurant, more than just a place to come eat,” Williams said. “We’re here to serve here to make the lives around us better. That’s why we’re partnering with Action Ministries.”
Your Pie, which is a franchise organization that originated in Athens, featured the program in other locations after the success in Williams’ and Bradley’s Snellville store. Since then Your Pie has raised $25,000 overall.
One of the reasons Your Pie owners area able to give back to the community is due to a lack of requirements for franchisees to purchase the land the restaurant will go on. Due to that Williams and Bradley were able to work with Newton County’s economic development department, Main Street Covington, the City of Covington and Lee Mayfield to lease out space in a historic building on the Covington Square.
“It’s a space that had been sitting vacant for however many years and nobody wanted to touch it, nobody wanted to tackle it except us,” Williams said.
“The great thing too is everything we do celebrates craft,” Bradley said. “All of the pizza is hand-made, and all the tables are made by a company called Made in Monroe in Georgia out of old reclaimed wood. So for us to find a space like the Mayfield building, that was 100-plus years old with all the original qualities— hard wood floors, original ceiling and original brick —is great.”
Williams and Bradley retained the buildings floors, brick walls and ceiling original to the Mayfield building, incorporating it all into the restaurant. The pair wanted to keep the building’s charm and retain the sense that it has been a part of the community for decades.
Part of the community is something they hope Your Pie will become, and the young owners want to give back to that community.
Bradley and Williams are looking to give back, not only by helping Action Ministries, but also by providing leadership for the next generation. Your Pie has already hired a staff and management team from area high schools who will lead the new restaurant.
“We have a certain way we do things, I don’t care if it’s the right way or wrong way but it works,” Williams said. “We wanted to creative an environment for these kids so they learn how to work in a professional environment. We try to create leaders for the next generation before they go to college, before they go to the next step in their life. We want to help them; we want to help them with applications or recommendations.”
Both Williams and Bradley attribute some of their success to working with Your Pie, and feel that others can benefit the way they did.
“The reason we love working with Your Pie and the reason we love doing what we’re doing is we can take people like Ross and I, who graduated in the bottom of their classes and otherwise wouldn’t have an opportunity to earn an unbelievable income and build them up in this franchise and in this brand and give them something they would have never had otherwise,” Williams said.