NEW MIDDLETOWN -- One of the most difficult things about owning a business is the long hours, but one area family has come up with a plan that gives them the security of always having an owner on the premises and at the same time freedom to do other things.
Tom White Jr. and his wife, his sister and her husband, and the siblings' father own Stephanie's Pasta Bowl, the village's only restaurant and bar. A Pizza Joe's franchise is attached to the restaurant.
Tom White Jr. said he works two nights a week. His sister, Michelle Marzano, and her husband, Vito, work two nights a week, and his father, Tom White Sr., works two nights.
"The restaurant is closed Sundays, and we switch weekends. It's great," White Jr. said.
Everyone brings something different to the business. White Jr. has experience with building maintenance. His sister has an extensive background in restaurant management, and their father can cook some tasty Italian dishes.
Mrs. Marzano ran the catering operation at the former Paonessa's in Boardman for 10 years. Then she and her father, who worked for the Youngstown Street Department for 35 years, opened a restaurant on the South Side of Youngstown.
When Mrs. Marzano's mother became ill, the father and daughter closed the restaurant to care for her.
After working 10 years in the grocery business, White Jr. obtained two associate degrees in electronics. While working in the electronics field, he also began acquiring rental properties.
That led to the restaurant business. He found that the pizza shop and an adjoining bar were for sale. The family bought the business in February 2000.
"We ran the pizza shop while we renovated the bar area. We wanted to create a family atmosphere," said White Jr.
They separated the bar from the restaurant and made it into a sports bar with five televisions broadcasting different sporting events. Sixty people can be seated in the bar, and the restaurant seats 110.
An old pool room was turned into a new kitchen, where White Sr. turns out his homemade spaghetti sauce, Italian greens, wedding soup and other Italian favorites.
The business initially had 18 employees, but now there are 33 people working in the restaurant, bar and pizza shop.