New York Times

New York Times

April 10, 2007 – Article about Zachary’s becoming employee-owned
“Givebacks, Pizza to Go, Shares to Stay” (excerpts)

“It was on little more than a wing and a prayer that Barbara Gabel and Zach Zachowski opened their first pizza restaurant 24 years ago in a storefront here near a freeway overpass. The couple liquidated their nest egg, took out a loan and hired the first teenager who knocked on the door of their newly named Zachary’s Chicago Pizza.

Now, Ms. Gabel and Mr. Zachowski, both in their 50s, are retiring, something they have been methodically planning for nearly a decade. The couple are not following a standard exit strategy of selling their successful business outright. Instead, they are slowly transferring Zachary’s… to a trust that will ensure a successful retirement not only for them but also for employees who have helped them along the way.

‘You don’t succeed unless everyone does,’ Ms. Gabel said. ‘We worked side by side with these folks for decades. How can you feel good about yourself if you get yours and don’t consider the people who have gotten you where you are?’

… Ms. Gabel and Mr. Zachowski said they felt strongly that they didn’t want to sell Zachary’s to an outsider who might not share their commitment to the employees or the community.”