Business Matters: Why Pappy Is So Happy

3/29/2021

“Serial entrepreneur” Mark “Pappy” Anderson loves his latest venture: A family-friendly pizza joint that happens to serve up a mean batch of chicken wings and healthy salads, too.

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I'm Eric Eicher, president

of Alpine Bank Durango.

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As we all live with the new

reality of the pandemic,

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innovative businesses

throughout Southwest Colorado

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are finding new ways to work

and serve our community.

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We invite you to learn

more about your neighbors

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in this edition of Business Matters.

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Mark "Pappy" Anderson

loves to make people happy

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and he also loves to make pizza.

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So why not combine the two

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in an affordable

family-friendly pizza joint

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that also serves up a mean

basket of chicken wings

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and a glass of perfectly chilled beer.

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That's just what Anderson

did when he opened

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the Happy Pappy's Pizza n Wings

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across from Durango High School last year.

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The circumstances weren't

the most auspicious

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for a new business.

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The pandemic had just shut down Durango

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and his venture was met

with a lot of skepticism,

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if not downright pessimism.

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He didn't listen to the critics.

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When I was building this place out

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there was a lot of

people that would stop by

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from the neighborhood and go,

"You're not going to make it."

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"You're not going to make it."

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"You can't sell alcohol.

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Nobody makes it in this place.

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Everybody goes out of business."

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And this was week, after week, after week.

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I'm like, "Okay. All right."

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And you know, we figured it out

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and busting at the scenes.

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We're not going to wall out now.

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Anderson moved to Durango

from Florida five years ago

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after making an overnight stop here

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on a cross country trip to California.

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A self-professed serial entrepreneur,

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Anderson had planned to slow down

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after selling a trucking business,

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he started 15 years before,

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but that didn't last long.

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Instead, he started up a chain

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of pizza parlors with

his cousins back East.

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But after traveling back

and forth from Durango

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for nine months, he

decided to sell his share

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in the family business and

start his own pizza joint

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in his new hometown.

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Anderson uses recipes that have been

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in the family for 30 years.

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In addition to traditional pizzas,

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he also offers a gluten-free pizza

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made with either a cauliflower

or broccoli cheese crust.

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He smokes his wings for three

hours before throwing them

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in the pizza oven to crisp up

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and serves them with a variety of toppings

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from barbecue to bourbon sauce,

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honey mustard to mango habanero.

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Want to beer?

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Serve yourself at

Durango's only beer wall,

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where you activate the spigot

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with a beer card linked to

your credit or debit account.

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Want just a half a glass to finish

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off that last bite of pizza?

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You pay by the ounce.

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So go ahead and just pull half a poor.

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Anderson met his struggled

during the pandemic,

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but he's confident that his old-fashioned

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family-friendly atmosphere

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and reasonably priced food

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will prove his initial critics wrong.

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Well, you know, I love food.

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I love our food.

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I love business.

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I love these kids.

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I love people.

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You know, I got a little

depressed to this COVID stuff.

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I want the customers' back on the patio

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and having a good time,

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and they're with their family.

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You know, the market,

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the pizza market in America changed.

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It changed when Pizza Hut

and Domino's took over

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in the '70s and the '80s.

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And you know, what used to

be the family pizza place

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where you used to go to with your kids,

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and the salad bar and pizza,

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and you just sit down and have

a beer under the red roof,

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it didn't exist anymore.

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There's a couple of places

in the country doing it.

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And I'm going to tell you,

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we're going to take this thing nationwide.

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I love that.

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I love the family can sit

down and have a good time,

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like to a place the kids want to eat,

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but a place you can afford.

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And the name Happy Pappy's,

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his twin daughters call him Pappy.

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Others, picked it up as a nickname.

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And Anderson says "He's

happiest when the people

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around him are happy

and having a good time."

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You know, the business is

about making people happy,

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making employees happy,

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having employees that are

happy to come somewhere to work

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and learn, me, mentor them,

give me something to do.

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You know, I'm getting a little older,

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I don't care to retire, and this is great.

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Happy Pappy's is open for

takeout or dining service.

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And if you short weeks of refurbished

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outdoor patio will be open as well.

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To order online or see a menu

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visit happy.pappys.pizza.

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Thanks for watching this edition

of the local news network.

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I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

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