Marquette’s Little Caesars holds grand opening today

The newly renovated Little Caesars location on West Washington Street in Marquette. The carry-out pizza store is finally back in business with its grand opening today. (Journal photo by Alexandria Bournonville)

MARQUETTE — After two years deprived of Little Caesars in Marquette’s downtown, the carry-out pizza store is finally back in business with its grand opening today.

Its 301 W. Washington St. location will be open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

The store itself has been renovated inside and out, according to regional manager Emily Elizabeth. Workers from United Contractors, a Marquette-based business, tore up the floor of the pizza shop so they could redo the plumbing, heating and ventilation system and structure.

“United did a fantastic job,” Elizabeth said.

Though Little Caesars crew members have been in the store training since Saturday, the store’s soft opening was on Monday when they served about 40 people involved with or close to the project.

Elizabeth said she’s “very excited” for the grand opening of the Marquette store after the success of her Houghton location, which opened in June.

“If it’s anything like Houghton, it’s going to be nonstop busy and I cannot wait,” she said. “It’s my favorite part of the job, just seeing it all come together … and being able to bring back something that has been gone for two years.”

However, on the first three days of business — today, Wednesday and Thursday — the store will not accept orders placed over the phone or online so that employees will be set up for a smooth start.

“I just think it’d be too much for them if we did it all at once,” Elizabeth said.

When mobile orders open up, she said there will be two fully operational Pizza Portals for contactless carry-out. These are heated, vertical pickup stations that allow customers to enter a personalized code to access their order without an employee’s assistance.

Elizabeth also acts as the franchise owner for the area. Her Houghton and Marquette stores are just the first in her repertoire; she has high hopes for more.

“Our goal in the future is to have 40 stores,” she said.

General manager Peyton Ward will run the store while Elizabeth continues with her businesses. Ward will also be opening new locations. Elizabeth said even though she will work more as an overseer of operations, she wants to make personal contact with employees.

“I still want to make it to my stores at least twice to three times a month and be in those stores that need help,” she said. “I love being in-store, so it’s just a passion of mine. I like seeing all the happy employees. It makes me enjoy coming here.”

For those who are interested in applying to work at the store, crew members 16 years old and up will start out at $13 per hour. Wages for employees 14 and 15 years old will have less pay due to the limited roles they are permitted to take part in when working at restaurants. Assistant managers will begin at $15 per hour.

She not only hopes to provide jobs for the community but also give back by pursuing a partnership with Northern Michigan University similar to the Houghton location’s partnership with Michigan Technological University.

Other inquiries can be directed to Ward at 616-450-9865 or peytonward@stormlc.com.


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