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DLDA gives pizza company a break

Because of a late start, and impressive numbers, the Detroit Lakes Development Authority agreed to advance Great North Pizza Company $10,000 on its loan.

When the pizza company received a $30,000 loan from the DLDA earlier this year, the three owners were given $10,000 upfront and were then promised $10,000 after $20,000 in sales could be proven and then the final $10,000 of the loan when another $20,000 of revenue was documented.

But Tuesday afternoon owners Zack Taves, Becca Taves and Andrew Satter said that because of USDA delays and other delays, they weren't able to open their premade frozen pizza business until two months later than planned.

With a building north of Detroit Lakes, the owners are packaging frozen pizzas to be distributed in bars, grocery stores and other establishments in the region. They had planned to be open June 1 but because of delays, they opened just into August instead.

"We're getting a lot more business right away than we thought we would," Satter said.

He said the pizzas are in 12 establishments in the area and should be in another five or six by the end of the week, including Central Market in Detroit Lakes.

"That will be our biggest account right now," he said.

Had the pizza company been able to open at the start of the summer as planned, they likely wouldn't have had to ask for the $10,000 advancement, he added.

Also, with the success of the business, he said they may have to hire a part-time worker, which this money from the DLDA would go toward supporting.

The pizza company owners have a second $31,000 loan with Midwest Bank that went toward the equipment and startup of the company. The DLDA's loan is more for working capital.

Satter said Pizza Corner is their biggest competitor right now, but he feels their pizza can take over some of their clients in the future.

"Our product is if not as good, a better product," he said.

Becca Taves said that since their first sale on Aug. 13, the company has already sold $4,000 worth of pizzas in less than a month.

DLDA members' main concern was that only Taves' health insurance policy has been given to the city so far, which is part of the business loan process. She said the other two should be coming soon.

DLDA member Tom Klyve said he had no problem advancing the business the $10,000 and then dispersing the final $10,000 when it can prove $20,000 in sales -- rather than waiting until after $40,000 in revenue, since they are advancing this portion ahead of time.

Others agreed and the motion to advance $10,000 now - with the confirmation of the health insurance in hand - was passed unanimously.

Follow Pippi Mayfield on Twitter at @PippiMayfield.