This week’s guest is Mike Albaek, Owner of Proletariat Pizza in White Center, just south of West Seattle. Mike and his wife, Stefanie opened Proletariat Pizza in 2009 and have created a friendly neighborhood pizzeria, using quality ingredients to make great pizzas.
Highlights From This Episode:
- What do you love most about what your business now? Being part of the community and being able to talk with and get to know the customers. The interaction with the customers is his favorite part.
- What was most surprising or unexpected with opening your own business? How the business has evolved. What they envisioned the business being one thing when they opened but it ended up evolving into a very communal, family friendly neighborhood pizzeria.
- What is your business known for? A regular family neighborhood gathering place with good pizza.
- What set’s you apart from others in your industry?
- What is your greatest strength? Being the face of proliferate and being able to interface with the customers
- What habit do you wish you had? Being able to get by on less sleep.
- What are you passionate about? Doing things right. Talking to the employees to treat the employees using “the golden rule” and treat others like you would want to be treated.
- What is your biggest challenge now? Managing employees (having grown from just a few employees to up to 25 at times) and getting information out to all of them without constantly having meetings.
- What is the biggest lesson you have learned in addressing this challenge? They are still learning it but just writing down procedures and having an employee handbook has gone a long way.
- In the past, what was holding you back from becoming the entrepreneur you are today? Fear of failure and fear of making the leap to self-employment.
- What is the best advice you have ever received? Make sure to get together regularly with like-minded business owners and being able to share experiences, and lessons… and hear that what your going through as a small business owner are the same things they are going through or have gone through and you can commiserate and learn from each other.
- What is a personal habit that contributes to your success? Wanting to do things right. Want to make a good product with good ingredients… not just trying to slam out a cheap product and make some money.
- What is your one book recommendation for our listeners?Anthony Bourdain – Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly or Charles Bukowski
- Parting Guidance – For other business owners – “Take vacations” and learn to rest.
Episode Links & Resources:
- Guest’s Website: https://proletariatpizza.com
- Like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Prolepizza/
- Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Prolepizza
- Guest’s recommendations (other great White Center establishments): Full Tilt Ice Cream, Zippy’s Giant Burgers & Noble Barton
- Learn more about Christian, other projects he’s working on and his business at: www.Sea-Town.com