Greenville Avenue Pizza Company (GAPCo) is proud and excited to announce that its owner, Sammy Mandell, was named the Young Entrepreneur of the Year by Pizza Today magazine. The Award was presented to Mandell at the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas, the industry’s biggest trade show.
Pizza Today narrowed down the field from 60 qualified entries to just three. Candidates were judged based on their overall business concepts, employee programs, community involvement and marketing programs, as well as innovation, business growth, year-to-year sales growth and passion. On March 21, the three finalists gave a 15-minute speech to share their stories of success, vision and innovation before a room full of pizza professionals made the final determination, selecting Mandell as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
For his victory, Mandell will receive a memorial trophy and free tuition to Tony Gemignani’s International School of Pizza. Plus, Pizza Today will travel to Dallas to feature GAPCo in an upcoming issue of the magazine.
Mandell opened the original GAPCo location on Greenville Avenue in 2007 at just 24-years-old. Together with his wife Molly, the couple has developed a pizza concept that has been ranked on Fortune’s 100 Fastest Growing Inner-City Businesses and Pizza Today’s Hot 100 Independents lists. They expanded to a second location in 2017, and have continued to push boundaries in branding, creativity, employee retention and community outreach.
“This is a dream come true,” said Mandell. “We’ve been working so hard for more than a decade to create not only the best pizza, but the best culture, and this is a testament to all that effort. I couldn’t be more thrilled for GAPCo and every one of our team members who helped make this possible.”
The Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award was created to recognize and raise awareness of young pizzeria owners who are shaping the industry. The submission process was open to all operators in the country 40-years-old and younger, and included an online form and four-minute video. Candidates were asked to share their overall business concept, sales figures, employee programs, community involvement and marketing initiatives, plus websites, menus and social profiles. The Pizza Today and Pizza Expo staff read every form and watched every video, and narrowed down the field to three during a month-long process. On March 21, pizzeria professionals at Pizza Expo made the final determination to select the winner.
Greenville Avenue Pizza Company’s flagship store is located at 1923 Greenville Ave in Dallas, with its second shop located at 1145 Peavy Rd in East Dallas.