What began as a grocery store owned by meat cutter Ron Piazza evolved into S.A. Piazza & Associates, now owned and operated by Ron’s son, second-generation pizza maker, president, and CEO Steve Piazza.
Founded in 1967 after the pizzas Ron began making in his store met with great success, S.A. Piazza & Associates continued to expand over the next 45 years moving away from low-margin, direct-retail businesses towards food service, private brand, and private label manufacturing.
The family-owned business’ commitment to excellence and the local community fueled a desire for continued expansion. A decision to sever the company’s reliance on a Spokane-based production facility located 350 miles away and bring crust production in-house promised to not only create significant annual savings, but also offer 14 additional jobs to the local community. Steve Piazza approached CapitalSource Small Business Lending and other commercial lenders in search of a $5 million SBA 7(a) loan in order to purchase and construct a 33,000-SF, state-of-the-art production facility in which to manufacture their own pizza crusts and purchase bakery equipment valued at $2 million.
Ultimately, S.A. Piazza turned to CapitalSource Small Business Lending. While other lenders were reluctant to consider an equipment loan beyond a seven-year timeframe and were only interested in financing the real estate portion of the loan, CapitalSource was responsive and willing to finance all components of the loan over a 25-year period—a significant difference. Piazza gained an additional 18 years in which to pay back the loan, allowing the expansion to take place without detrimentally impacting their cash flow. Plans are moving forward, and the company is confident the additional savings will result in increased revenue over time.