by TaLeiza Calloway
For Matt and Kami Roquette St. Joseph is home. That’s why it was easy to take ownership of a local business in a town they have grown to love.
The Roquettes are the new owners of Joe Town Pizza and Grill in St. Joseph. The restaurant is at 14 College Ave. N.
When the couple married four years ago, they didn’t set out to buy a restaurant. Matt is a realtor for Edina Realty in St. Joseph and Kami works in outside food supply sales for Strategic in St. Cloud. While they have other careers, they were always looking for a good business opportunity. That opportunity came March 27 when they bought the St. Joseph business.
Kami, who is originally from Sauk Centre, has a lot of customer-service experience in the food industry. She worked for a Dairy Queen in her hometown for years and served as its manager for about seven years. Coming back to the restaurant industry was something she knew she would do.
Matt grew up in St. Joseph. He and Kami have two children and one on the way. Their son Mason is 3 and their daughter Tenley is 1. The nice thing about owning the restaurant is it’s literally a few blocks away from their home.
“We had been looking for a business opportunity for a while,” Matt said. “We found this, sat down with the owner and it just seemed like a good fit. It was also close to home and that was important to us. We thought if we’re going to do business somewhere it’s important to be in the community.”
The restaurant has 10 employees. One of the 10 employees is full-time and the rest are part-time.
The price range of offerings starts at $6.95 and $7 for a small pizza up to $23. They have a full-delivery menu that includes salads, wraps and sandwiches in addition to the pizza. Service includes dine-in and carry out. All of the dough is made from scratch and they sell an 11-inch gluten-free pizza. They serve a five-mile radius that includes the cities of Avon and the west end of St. Cloud.
They’re not looking to make major changes to the business but will add what Kami calls “a little touch of us,” to the business. They’re working on introducing specialty pizzas into the menu lineup and plan to introduce a new offering every month to see what the response will be. The co-owners also plan to expand their menu to include more desserts. Kami said the hope is to launch something new by July 4th weekend.
If you ask the Roquettes what makes a good pizza, their answer is simple: dough and sauce. Both are made in-house.
“Anybody can put toppings on,” Kami said. “We handtoss our crust. It’s just good.”
What she likes most is the customer service aspect. She admits she had to get used to the pace of the pizza grill as it’s a little slower than the fast food vibe of Dairy Queen.
“I love food business,” she said. “I can’t nail down the reason why, but I do.”
As a sales rep, she goes into restaurants and proprietors buy their supplies from her. She says it’s not the same as being behind the counter or in the kitchen alongside them.
The couple says the feedback has been positive since they took ownership of the restaurant.
“Business is good,” she said. “People support businesses in this community.”
Joe Town Pizza and Grill is open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. seven days a week.
Business Name: Joe Town Pizza & Grill
Address: 14 College Ave. N
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily