Star City Six – Bruce Cannon
Godfather’s Pizza, Inc. is a chain eatery with top-notch catering options, specializing in thick-crust pizzas, in addition to offering sides and desserts. Bruce Cannon is a franchise owner of two Godfather’s Pizza (godfathers.com) locations in Nebraska.
Tell us a little about your business.
We are a Godfather’s Pizza franchisee with two locations and we have plans for additional locations in the near future. Our newest location is at 3301 O St. in Lincoln. This is a hybrid concept we developed with the parent company that gives all focus to an online ordering platform. We realize today’s need for modern convenience to order online (or call) and pick up at the drive-up window or we will deliver to your home or business.
How did you get started in the business?
I’ve enjoyed over 30 years with Godfather’s Pizza, Inc. at the corporate level since graduating from Boise State University. As a senior vice president, I was able to guide national franchisees through their own growth plans. In 2008, I achieved a long-time goal to own my own company under the corporate umbrella by purchasing an existing franchise in Norfolk, NE.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
The decision logic that we use to be successful for our own company can be completely different now that we are owners. We have a very talented team of people that are working for us as managers and key employees. We enjoy giving them new perspectives on how to be successful in this industry. However, we also continue to learn from them each and every day as we believe success will always be a team effort.
What has been your most important achievement professionally?
Seeing our own store being built in Lincoln.
Tell us a little about your family.
My family is one of my greatest joys! My wife Elizabeth is a successful regional manager for Michael David Winery. My son and daughter have successful lives in Florida and California, respectively. My daughter Nicole works as director of operations for a regional pizza company, so this business runs in the family! I also have three beautiful grandchildren. We are proud of them all, and the best moments are when we are all together.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
I enjoy golf, hunting, hiking, and being active in the great outdoors! Truthfully, when it’s cold outside and I can’t go play, I like nothing more than to enjoy a slice of our own Godfather’s Pizza and watch the Golf Channel.
Who inspires you?
With so much passion to my career, I have been inspired in business by several CEOs, which includes the founder of Godfather’s Pizza, Willy Theisen, and the current president and owner, Ron Gartlan. Willy took a simple concept and parlayed it into a pizza company that continues to shine on a national level. He proved that quality food abundantly topped and delivered with exceptional service will always supersede trends! Ron Gartlan and I are in constant communication about this new concept in Lincoln and our growth plans going forward. The friendship and mutual respect that comes from a partnership, now decades old, is one that we count on in the future to keep us moving forward.
What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why?
Being a ‘hands-on’ business owner is very rewarding and satisfying. On a personal note, we look for opportunities to quietly help those in need. Sometimes, it may be a special cause for an ill child or a veteran in need. Our son Ryan enlisted in the Army and was deployed to Iraq twice. I am very passionate about helping our vets and their families.
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