White Center Blog » Archive » Franchisees Are Small Business Owners Too, Says Amber Reese Of Soon-To-Open White Center Zeeks Pizza
Franchisees are small business owners too, says Amber Reese of soon-to-open White Center Zeeks Pizza
(WCN photos unless otherwise stated)
By Tracy Records
White Center Now Editor
If you look at the signage for Pizza Zeekswhich will open soon at 9809 16th SW in White Center, and think “oh, just a chain moving in”, think again.
Owner Amber Reese is franchised. That means she’s a small business owner, she wants you to know that. She’s also a single mom whose 9-year-old son is as excited as she is about the soon-to-open restaurant.
(Photo by Emma Lee Photography)
Opening his own restaurant has been a lifelong dream for Reese. She worked for Zeeks for 9 years – in Belltown, Lynnwood and West Seattle, where she lives – and she worked on securing this franchise for more than half of that time. (She also has the rights to open Zeeks in Burien, but that’s further afield – it’s all about the White Center right now.) She’s had a nearly 20-year career in the industry, since she graduated from the culinary program at South Seattle College, which is actually in West Seattle at 6000 16th SW — “the same street where I’m opening my own restaurant,” Reese exults. She originally planned a career in the kitchen, but turned out to have a knack for restaurant management, which steered her into ‘work in front of the house’ and now ownership.
She says she is lucky to have been able to take over a space that was already converted into a pizzeria (previously South side), and didn’t make too many changes. To get a liquor license (for beer and wine) they had to wall off neighbor Li’l Woody’s space, which means there are now separate entrances and new stalls along the new wall too.
Some of the final touches to come include new ovens that are on the way — what’s currently in space is a 21-year-old oven, Reese notes. The menu will be classic Zeeks – pizza, salads, breadsticks. They will deliver and be open for dine-in and take-out from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
But the particular flavor Reese wants to infuse is community involvement, in keeping with White Center’s storied identity as a close-knit community. “Once we’re open, I really want to give back to the community,” especially organizations that work with women and children. She says she’s backed other White Center ventures before, even popular ones Pizza of the proletariat just down the block.
So how soon will she be serving her own pizza? By mid-March, if all goes well the rest of the way.
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