Pizza Today - May 2017 - 61

STORY DENISE GREER PHOTOS JOSH KEOWN

W

hen Pizza Today arrived
at Stoner's Pizza Joint
in Midtown Savannah,
Georgia in February, the
restaurant was filled with
smiling people wiping
down tables and counters and mingling with
one another. Some were
employees but most were family and friends
who have invested in the Stoner's Pizza Joint
brand. Greeted with kind Low Country
hospitality, Pizza Today walked into a family,
both literally and figuratively.
Joel and Jenny Harn own the 19-unit pizza
company - eight being company owned.
Joel is a modest man, but it's clear to see that
they have built a thriving pizza business from
the ground up. And the brand is gaining
momentum.
But it all started with one Stoner's Pizza
Joint. After working at Domino's, Joel
devoted his career to revitalizing struggling
restaurants and selling them. There was
something about Stoner's that was different.
"When we opened up Stoner's we have some
people come to us interested in what we
were doing," Joel says. "It just kind of rolled
from there. It wasn't something that we really
planned, it just kind of happened."
Joel, with the help of his father, set out to
create an original concept. Joel reveals the
unconventional way he came up with Stoner's
pizza dough recipe. From scratch pizza dough
was a new challenge. "So we get my grandmother on the phone and we ask her, 'how
do you make pizza dough?' She said, 'well I've
never made pizza dough before. It has the
consistency of a dumpling recipe' and she told
us to add some yeast to it. That is our pizza
dough. It's been the same for 28 years."

Joel enlisted childhood friend William Morris as operations manager to
help oversee the day-to-day. "It's like

a mom and pop, but with a lot of cousins,"
Morris says. And the Harns couldn't agree
more.

"Basically
what we
have built
our model
around is
that we want
at least
30,000
addresses
within a fivemile
radius that
we can
deliver to."
- Joel Harn Owner

While the Harns were focused on operating their single store, Morris came to them with
a proposal for a second location in Effingham,
Georgia. Today, Stoner's 19 units stretch from
Savannah to Charleston with recent expansion
into Texas and Florida.
The top performing store is located in Goose
Creek, South Carolina, which is home to the Naval Weapons Station. "Goose Creek opens at
4 p.m. and goes until 10 p.m. It has no seating. It's
1,100 square feet. Last year, they did $1.2 million."
There's competition for the No. 1 spot. Even the
newcomer licensed location in Houston, Texas is
vying for top sales. "They have been open for eight
weeks now and their numbers have gone through
the roof," Joel says. "We look for that 30,000
household count and they have 57,000 households. So within eight weeks they are already the
fourth or fifth best store in the company."
That's precisely the demographics the Harns
are seeking when scouting new locations and
franchises. "We're looking for address counts,"
Joel says. "Basically what we have built our model
around is that we want at least 30,000 addresses
within a five-mile radius that we can deliver to."
Delivery is key as many of the Stoner's locations
offer only carryout and delivery. The Harns were
able to incorporate a delivery system they used for
a third-party delivery business they created years
before.
The business has evolved since the
Harns' opened the first Stoner's. They used

brick ovens in the original Georgetown location

M AY 2 0 1 7 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / 6 1


http://www.PIZZATODAY.COM

Pizza Today - May 2017

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - May 2017

Pizza Today - May 2017
Commentary
Contents
Contributors
Expo Spotlight
Interact
Conversation
Man on the Street
Respecting the Craft
On Tap
Destinations
Knead to Know
Flooring Options
Specialty Cheese Pairings
Manchego
Eliminating Spoilage
Cheese Pricing
Grand Openings
Pizza Today on the Road: Riverboat Pizza Co., Savannah, GA
Pizza Today on the Road: Stoner’s Pizza Joint, Savannah, GA
International Pizza Expo Wrap Up
Product Showcase
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Reader’s Resource
Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - May 2017 - CT1
Pizza Today - May 2017 - CT2
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Pizza Today - May 2017
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Cover2
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Commentary
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 4
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 5
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Contents
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 7
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 8
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 9
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Contributors
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 11
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 13
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Interact
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 15
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Conversation
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 17
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 19
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Respecting the Craft
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 21
Pizza Today - May 2017 - On Tap
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 23
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Destinations
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 25
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Knead to Know
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 27
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 28
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 29
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Flooring Options
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 31
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 32
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 33
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Specialty Cheese Pairings
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 35
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 36
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 37
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 38
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 39
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Manchego
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 41
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 42
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 43
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Eliminating Spoilage
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 45
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 46
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 47
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Cheese Pricing
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 49
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 50
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 51
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Grand Openings
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 53
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 54
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 55
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Pizza Today on the Road: Riverboat Pizza Co., Savannah, GA
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 57
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 58
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 59
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Pizza Today on the Road: Stoner’s Pizza Joint, Savannah, GA
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 61
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 62
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 63
Pizza Today - May 2017 - International Pizza Expo Wrap Up
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 65
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 66
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Product Showcase
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 68
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 69
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 71
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 72
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 73
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 74
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 75
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 76
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 77
Pizza Today - May 2017 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 79
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 80
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 81
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 82
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 83
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 84
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 85
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 86
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 87
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 88
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Reader’s Resource
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Cover3
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Cover4
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