THOMASVILLE — A Florida couple interested in entrepreneurship decided on a Thomasville pizza restaurant venture.
Mike and Kristi Rutherford, who live in north Leon County, considered Tallahassee as a restaurant site. Thomasville — "being so close" — also was on their radar.
"We fell in love with Thomasville," Mr. Rutherford said. "The community sucked us in."
The restaurant, Marco's Pizza, will open in January at 14949 U.S. 19 South, Suite C, former site of Jersey Mike's.
The new eatery will provide 25 to 30 full- and part-time jobs.
Mike Rutherford holds a master's of business administration degree from Florida State University and is a licensed electrician.
He is an account manager. His wife is employed as a licensed health care professional. They plan to leave their jobs eventually and work full time at the restaurant.
Rutherford said Marco's is a "mom-and-pop" pizza business, and those with franchises are encouraged to be at the business at all times and to become involved in the community.
"We'll be hands-on," Mike Rutherford said. "We can see ourselves more involved in Thomasville than Tallahassee."
The Rutherfords plan to become involved with local schools, athletics and other aspects of the community.
The couple has three school-age children, three dogs, two horses and six chickens.
Dining at Marco's provides an authentic Italian pizza experience, Mike Rutherford said, adding that Marco's pizzas are made from the freshest, high-quality ingredients, and pizza dough is made fresh daily.
The menu at Marco’s Pizza in Thomasville will feature a mix of classic pizzas, specialty pizzas, a variety of salads, subs and a crustless pizza.
Marco’s will offer picking up a meal, contact-free delivery and curbside pickup, with an app, online at www.marcos.com or by calling the store directly.
Rutherford said Marco's is the only national pizza brand founded by a native Italian — Pasquale “Pat” Giammarco.
Extra cleaning/sanitizing measures will be used, and employees will be required to wear masks throughout their shifts. Health checks on employees will be done daily.
Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820