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Why I Get Up at 4 a.m. Every Morning

I am a busy person. What’s that old saying “If you want something done, ask someone who is always busy.” That seems to be my life story. Ha! But the thing that gets me up at 4 a.m. Monday-Friday is…my pizza restaurant. It’s the reason I live in Gurdon, Ark. instead of Texarkana. :)

I grew up in the pizza business. When I was 9 years old my dad started selling pizza supplies all over Arkansas. Sometimes I would ride with him on his route. I can vividly remember “wrapping” pizzas for him to demo at some of the grocery stores. Basically you put an uncooked pizza on this round circle above a heating element and surrounded it with Saran Wrap. The heating element would melt the Saran Wrap on the bottom of this cardboard that the pizza was sitting on. Do you ever remember getting one of those in a grocery store?

When I was 12 years old, my parents bought their first pizza restaurant. We moved from Benton, Ark. to Murfreesboro, Ark. and I spent my high school years working for them. I bussed tables, did LOTS of dishes, took orders and cooked. At one point, my dad put in a little ice cream shop beside it called “Kendra’s”. I had a pretty awesome childhood. :)

At the age of 23, I bought that same restaurant (in Murfreesboro) and ran it for five years before finally finding my way into radio. In those five years, I was the part-owner of a pizza restaurant in Hope and the one I currently own in Gurdon. I used to joke that I had pizza sauce running in my veins instead of blood!

In 2010, my parents decided they were ready to retire after 25+ years in the biz. I couldn’t bear the thought of them shutting the doors on a business they devoted so much of their lives too. So I bought it and here I be three years later. We still use our family recipe pizza sauce and my dad’s “Kingsborough Spaghetti Sauce”.

Did I ever answer my initial question of why I get up at 4 a.m? Last year we went from just serving lunch and dinner to also serving breakfast. Someone has to work that shift-why not me? So, I get up at 4 a.m. and head to the Pizza Barn to get fresh biscuits ready and get sausage and bacon cooking. Not great for my diet, as I am a sucker for BACON! I get off work at 9 a.m. so I can make it to KKYR on time for my first break at 10.

I have really settled into Gurdon and have made it my home. The people here are wonderful and so supportive of my restaurant. I’ve even had some of my listeners come visit my restaurant (thanks!). It’s a huge part of my life and something I’m pretty proud of.

Here are some pictures of it. :)

Pizza Barn
Pizza Barn/Tim Raines

We painted the Pizza Barn red last October after a customer accidentally ran her car through our dining room. Yes, that really happened. Ha!

Godfather Pizza
Godfather Pizza/Kendra Raines

This is our signature “Godfather” pizza. (Named by my dad 25 years ago)

Salad Bar
Salad Bar/Tim Raines

This is our fresh salad bar. This was something my mom started 20 years ago, and I am proud to keep it going. I really take a lot of pride in keeping it super fresh!

I love being involved in the Gurdon community (you know how I am). Santa and Rudolph made a stop at the Pizza Barn for Christmas. We hosted lots of trick or treaters at Halloween. I have a Facebook page for my restaurant and I love to post pics of our customers.

Sometimes on Facebook, I see people complaining about living in a small town or griping about their job. I love small town living and I love being my own boss. Life is good in KendraLand (even though I had to get up by 4 a.m.!)

Happy Thursday!

Kendra

 

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