Iryna and Ihar Dziatko know the value of hard work. When they emigrated from Russia 14 years ago, they didn’t speak any English and had a 7-year-old daughter to care for. After coming here with nothing, the Dziatko family hit the ground running, attending school full-time to learn English while also working full-time. The couple worked hard and saved carefully, and in 2008 they opened their own business, a Sarpino’s Pizzeria, in Naperville, Illinois. They sold the business in 2011 and opened a new store in North Aurora, Illinois in 2012. One year later they sold that location and moved their business to Atlanta. Their first Sarpino’s Pizzeria at 1000 North Side Drive NW, serving the greater Midtown area, is slated to open in August, with plans to open two more locations over the next two years.
“Chicago was a heavily-populated market,” Dziatko said. “The only areas available were in the suburbs, but we wanted to live and work in an urban area. We like Atlanta. There are colleges here, lots of businesses and hotels, and that allows us to explore our knowledge and build a stronger business.”
The couple attributes their success in business to their work ethic and the dynamics of their relationship. They will work together as full-time co-managers at their Sarpino’s Pizzeria, a business arrangement that stood the test of time in Chicago.
“We work well together,” Dziatko said. “It’s easy because we understand each other perfectly and we have the same perspective. Plus, we like interacting with people. We like our customers, so it’s enjoyable for us.”
Prior to going into business for themselves, Iryna, 43, did accounting for property management companies in Chicago, and Ihar, 44, worked for a construction company specializing in plumbing. He’s still able to put his former career skills to good use in Atlanta, supervising the ongoing construction work as their hired crew builds their first location. In addition to the three units the couple currently have in the works, they hope to eventually open two more stores, totaling five locations in the Atlanta region.
“We came here with nothing, with no one to help us,” Dziatko said. “But we survived, and we worked hard. Look where we are now!”
Sarpino’s Pizzeria currently has 46 fully operational locations in eight states across the U.S. They have a total of 65 fully executed franchise agreements. They expect to have 65 locations open by the end of 2014 and 350 locations within five years.
For Sarpino’s Pizzeria franchise information, please visit http://www.sarpinosfranchise.com.