Since 1983, Gold House Pizza has been serving up the best pizzas, subs, salads, and other great food for the North Country. And North Country Local had the chance to sit down and speak with owner Demetrios “Jimmy” Sourgiadakis about his business and what makes him go from day-to-day.
Jimmy was born in Greece. “Back in the day, when the American dream was the thing...we came to the United States in 1975. We moved to Cambridge, MA, my mom was a seamstress at the time, my dad was a baker for Dunkin Donuts. I went to school up to 1985, then moved up here and did my junior and senior year at Littleton and graduated here.
“As we were working around here, we opened up in Lincoln...then we opened up an ice cream shop in Lincoln...and then another here in Littleton. It got to the point where we were spread a little too thin...it was just 3 of us. My older went to Lincoln to help my other brother out...and I was left here”
Gold House Pizza has been around since 1983, and Jimmy has worked there since 1985. Originally his brother’s business, Jimmy took it over solely in 1995. His mission? “To put out quality food at affordable pricing. Our number one priority is our customers. I think it makes us all feel good when a customer smiles and tell us the food is great. That’s really fulfilling.” As a business, he’s always looking for higher quality. He wants his customers to know that his strive for quality is never stagnant.
“A few years ago, the price of produce and cheese went through the roof. I had a chance to work with my suppliers and substitute lesser-quality products in hopes to ride it out. I wouldn’t do that to my customers. They don’t deserve that. I rode out the prices and that’s something that my customers wouldn’t ever know about. The only way we’ll ever change our product is if we find a better ingredient. Our customers deserve that.”
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting Jimmy, you can tell he means it when he says he loves his customers. You can see it’s his favorite thing about owning a business. “I love my customers, I love talking to my customers...I’m like a social butterfly, pretty much,” Jimmy says with a grin. He gets serious then: “Really, though...you can’t go into business for yourself just for the sake of going into business...you gotta love your customers, you gotta love your employees, you have to love what you do.”
And that’s why he isn’t happy when his customers aren’t happy. On the rare occasion someone isn’t happy with their order, the whole restaurant takes it personally. “I like to put a smile on everyone’s face, at all times.”
Having been in the pizza business since 1985, Jimmy has had quite an adventure with his business throughout the years. About 7 years ago (as far as he can remember) he had to suddenly move his business after having been closed down by emergency officials after a car had hit his building. In a matter of 18 days, Jimmy, his employees, and the community of which he’s a part rallied around and was able to successfully move his business down the street.
“The employees were devastated and we didn't know what we were going to do. We had this space that we're in now...18 days later we had brand new heating systems, plumbing, electrical, walls, floors, gas lines, the whole front of the store was redone with all new glass and everything. I pulled in all the favors I could...people were dropping things to help me. People were putting off jobs and helping me get everything together. The community's great. I love the town, I love the North Country. I love the people in the town. There's no other place to be. I've been to California, I've been to other places, and you won't find any other people like you find here. I love the small town feeling, the small town mentality. I love the small town hospitality. I love my employees and I love my customers.”
The love for his customers shines through in the product he offers. “We strive for the healthiest food. We do it with our sub rolls, there’s no additives or preservatives. We make our own dough, we make our own sauces, we care about what goes in the food. Our customers mean a lot to us, we strive to make our customers happy.
“We could use preshredded lettuce, but we don’t. We buy fresh lettuce, we buy fresh tomatoes, everything we buy is as fresh as possible. We offer a great gluten-free product, it comes all the way from California in a freezer truck because it’s a perishable food with no preservatives or additives. I searched long and hard for a product that I could be proud to sell, no cheap filler, a real high-quality ingredient. I mean, kids come here. I’d rather shut down than feed people garbage...and I know that what we’re doing is successful, because we’re growing every year so we have to be doing something right.”
Gold House Pizza is a local North Country business that has done one thing right, and has done it for almost 35 years. “Life is short. Live it. Experience it. It doesn’t take any more effort to be happy than it takes to be miserable. Why would anyone choose misery over happiness? Life will grant what you want when you’re happy. You will attract more of the same. If you’re miserable, you’ll attract misery. If you’re happy, you’ll attract happiness.”