Welcome to Patch's new weekly feature, Meet the Owners. Every week, Patch will highlight business owners from Riverhead and the North Fork. This week, the spotlight is on Jamesport's longtime favorite pizzeria, Lenny's of Jamesport, owned for over a decade by Lennny Lubrano.
Q: Where did you grow up? How did you get started in the pizza business? And when did Lenny's open in Jamesport?
A: I grew up in Brooklyn, NY. I started working at an italian bakery when I was 10 years old. The bakery made pizza on Fridays, which is how I started making pizza.
Lenny's first opened in Rocky Point, NY in 1983. That Lenny's is no longer open. The Jamesport location opened in 1999.
Q: What is your biggest challenge as a business owner?
A: Finding good and consistent help is a key challenge. Another key challenge is dealing with the complex laws and regulations when running a business in the state of New York.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your profession?
A: The customers. I love the people who are Lenny's customers.
Q: What are the trends in the pizza business -- and what is your most popular item?
A: There are two conflicting trends, where people want a quality product for the most affordable price possible.
Q: What advice do you have for someone starting a business? And, what is the best piece of advice that you have ever received?
A: For anyone starting a business, I would like to remind you that you do not own the business and that it actually owns you. The best advice I ever received was from a very successful restauranteur who once told me that running a successful restaurant is all about one thing: location, location, location.
Q: Do you have any future plans for your business, either to expand or add any additional menu items?
A: We will be renovating the space. We will also continue to modify the menu to concentrate on packing the place out.
Q: What makes your business unique?
A: My 25 years of pizza experience, along with the quality of our product. We use only the finest cheese and other ingredients.
Q: Do you have long-time customers that have been coming in for years with their families?
A: Yes, this makes up the majority of our customer base.
Q: What do you like the least about your business or what would you change if you could?
A: If anything, I would like to remind everyone how much time, effort and love goes into making a good quality product.
Q: What do you plan to do in retirement?
A: I plan to keep working my entire life. This is my passion.
Suggestions for a business owner that you would like to see Patch interview? E-mail Lisa.Finn@patch.com or shout out the business name in the comment section below.