Have you ever seen or heard of a Black owner of an Italian pizzeria? Neither have we. We were pleasantly surprised to meet the owner of Grand Slam Pizzeria, Tiffany McCormick. She is a young wife, mother of three, and real estate investor with a B.S. degree in Applied Mathematics and a minor in Economics from GA Tech. She has 10 years of pricing and revenue optimization experience working for top Fortune 100 companies managing portfolios from $1 million to $1 billion. Most recently, Tiffany added restaurant owner to her repertoire. Of course, we wanted to know how she got it all done! Tiffany McCormick gave us the opportunity to sit down with her and pick her brain. This interview is a must read! See for yourself.
Q: What was the process like; taking ownership of a 20-year-old business?
A: The prior owner used a broker to list the business and they handled the majority of the work. We had about four-to-six weeks of direct training from the old owner. Initially, we had the same employees and kept things the same; so,+ it was a pretty good transition.
Q: What made you choose a pizzeria?
A: My husband and I were looking for ways to diversify our income and two of the areas we've always talked about is real estate and food, because we figured people need somewhere to live and something to eat. We didn't have any restaurant-ownership experience, so we wanted to start with a cuisine that didn't require highly-skilled employees or special recipes and can weather different economic storms. After a few months of researching restaurants, we decided a pizzeria best fit that bill.
Q: What was your knowledge in the industry prior to?
A: I worked at Waffle House corporate for a few years and my husband worked at Taco Bell in high school, but we essentially had no direct pizza/restaurant-management experience. Almost everything was new.
Q: What are the pros and cons of owning this type of business?
A: The two main pros are the simplicity of the operations and the pizza industry itself. Because we operate a simple pizzeria (take-out or delivery only), it’s fairly easy or quick to get a new person up to speed on how to make a pizza. That keeps the cost of labor low and makes it easier to find someone who can do the job. In addition, since pizza is practically a staple in the American household, the industry is robust and has been for decades. It's the perfect type of restaurant to pass down to our children. The two, main cons are food costs and our location not having a drive-thru or some type of seating. We have to look for ways to strike the balance between controlling food costs (such as how many pepperonis on a pizza) and still giving a good tasting, quality product.
Q: How did his children react to him selling you the business?
A: They were supportive, even after the transfer. One of his kids actively worked in the restaurant as our employee before he went off to college. It was helpful to hear the stories of growing up in the pizza business from the child’s perspective so I could get tips on what to do with my kids.
Q: Tell us about your book.
A: My book is called "Why Didn't It Work? Help for Christians who are struggling with their faith." It’s aimed at walking others through my journey of when I prayed and believed for certain things, and it didn’t happen. Every chapter goes through a major portion of what the Holy Spirit worked on through me and the different prayers, scriptures, lessons, and practical steps the Holy Spirit used to help me along the way.
Q: Why did you decide to become an author?
A: It actually started with me hearing about a free “Map Your Book Out Challenge” and God prompting me to attend. At the end, I felt as if He told me it’s time to write a book. As I was praying about what I was supposed to write and thinking it over, I heard someone on a random podcast say "books can travel miles and go to places we'll never see" and it just clicked for me. I had the desire to share a part of my testimony in a way that would help people I would never meet. I wanted to tell everybody of His wondrous works; like in Psalm 105, so that my book can travel to places my voice cannot.
Q: What kind of value are you hoping to add to the reader?
A: I hope that the reader can get three main things from my book. The first, God is not the problem; He’s the solution. He’s eternally perfect; so, no matter what has happened, is happening, or will happen, stay on God’s side. The second, you are not alone. I talk about my struggles seeing other people with a lifestyle, family or looks that I wanted and how God helped me through that. Especially in this social media age, where so many people’s lives look glamorous and likes/follows/shares are popularity contests; we can let comparison come in, but we should not compare ourselves with the wrong people when our real standard is Jesus. The third point I want them to learn is actually the title of chapter six; we are victorious. Life can be so many things: beautiful, joyous, fun, hard, disappointing, painful, etc.; but we have to anchor ourselves in the belief that we are loved with an overwhelming love and in the end we win.
Q: What are some of the challenges you had writing a book?
A: When I was writing my manuscript, I was working full-time, had just bought the pizzeria and was working there as well, taking three classes (finishing up my Master's degree), and had a two year old and an eight month old who was still nursing. So, I struggled to find the time and energy! Thankfully, I joined Beyond the Book Media’s 21-day writing program where they have writing coaches, accountability groups, and writing sessions. I was able to finish my manuscript in 21 days.
Q: Are you self-published?
A: I am self-published; with the help of Beyond the Book Media.
Q: Tell us the process of writing your book.
A: I spent about two-to-four hours a day during the 21-day bootcamp. They had daily writing sessions in the evening, and I would wake up early in the morning and write with my accountability group.
Q: Are you publishing another book?
A: My background and passion surrounds economic topics. So, I have been thinking about writing another book or a workbook that’s finance/economics focused; but I haven’t settled on it just yet.
Q: Tell us how you incorporate faith in business and personal? How do you maintain the balance?
A: I understand that God is the one who has brought me this far and will grace me to go further. There is no balance for me; I weave my faith into the very fabric of everything I do. For example; by asking Him for wisdom, in business I can show up in excellence, come up with great strategies and increase my revenue. That could mean praying before or during a meeting, reading scriptures with my kids, oe even asking God what’s for dinner. It’s all integrated.
Q: How does it feel being a momprenuer?
A: If I were asked this question a couple of years ago, I would say "TIRED!" While that’s still somewhat true, as I’ve grown and matured, I have learned to focus on what I can do, what I want to do, and what I do well. Anything else I delegate/pay someone else to do or it does not get done and I have learned to be okay with that. So, now I can say I feel empowered and excited for what’s to come.
Q: What would you tell your younger self, knowing what you know now?
A: I would tell my younger self to keep loving God, have fun, do more solo traveling and buy Bitcoin!
Q: Let us know where we can find you, your book and your restaurant?
A: I am on instagram @TheFamilyEconomicsTeacher and my book, “Why Didn’t It Work? Help for Christian who are struggling with their faith," is on Amazon. My restaurant is in Kennesaw, GA, just north of Metro Atlanta.
Tribe, if you have the opportunity, please support her. Also, feel free to reach out to Tiffany and give her some love and light. She is for the progression of the culture.