Owner brings experience to the table in Port City
By Alyssa Mammano
Mark’s Pizzeria added another location to its repertoire, recently opening its 48th pizzeria in Oswego.
Founder Mike Crane and location owner and operator Paul Sanger presented the 255 W. Seneca St. Mark’s Pizzeria to Oswego with a grand opening recently.
After searching for the perfect location within Oswego for two years, and five months of construction, the pizzeria is officially open for business.
“We invested probably a $250,000. We did a really nice job with all stainless steel brand new equipment. We put a lot of money into this,” Crane said.
The location required a total rebuild, according to Crane. Everything inside the building was completely demolished, and new walls, electric and plumbing were put in. The pizzeria now operates behind the Subway and Dunkin Donuts on state Route 104 West.
“We chose this location because it was right on a busy street and close to everything. We just thought it would be a good fit for people coming down and getting food,” said Crane.
Not only will Mark’s Pizzeria bring quality food and service to Oswego, but employment as well. Crane said the new eatery employs 25 full- and part-time workers. Overseeing the operation is Sanger, who has worked with the company for 15 years.
“We tell people, ‘If you work for us long enough and do a great job, you’ll end up getting your own store.’ Like Paul, he’s been with us for so long. So that’s why we keep expanding, because we keep getting guys who want to open their own store,” Crane said.
Crane said he never planned on expanding his company initially. In 1982 he was fresh out of high school and looking for employment. His passion for cooking led him into the business and his work ethic helped him to maintain his own company.
“I just got out of high school and I was working a construction job at Taylor Instruments in the city of Rochester. I lost my job, and I just always liked to cook. I found a way to get into the pizza business, and came up with some recipes, and then just kept working. It’s really a pretty short story,” said Crane.
On Oct. 20, Mark’s Pizzeria will celebrate 30 years in business. Crane said the longevity is a direct result of the quality of service instilled in each of his employees.
“We take a lot of time to make sure that our employees take care of our customers. We just try to do a good job. We want you to come back; that’s our secret. We really treat you like family because we want you to come back, so we want to do a good job,” he said.
Crane said he hopes to get involved with SUNY Oswego’s “Plus Plan” if he can. The Plus Plan allows students to purchase food from on-campus cafés as well as off-campus restaurants such as Domino’s, Wonton House and the Oswego Sub Sub Shop with money credited to their ID cards.
Recently, Crane has also opened locations in Avon and Batavia, as well as one in Florida about a year ago. In October, he will open another location in Canastota and next year he plans to open in Ithaca and Charlotte, N.C.