By Phil Klutts
December 14, 2023

Donatos Pizza’s founders visit Edmond

Jim Grote, founder of Donatos Pizza, discusses the importance of customer care in their 60-year business journey at the Edmond event.
Donatos Pizza founders and Edmond Mayor Darrell Davis (Photo provided)

The founders of Donatos Pizza marked a significant milestone in Edmond on November 27. Jim Grote, the brand’s founder, alongside his daughter Jane Grote, Chairwoman and Chief Purpose Officer, and grandson Tony Capuano, Vice President of Franchise Operations, hosted a vibrant meet and greet event at the first Oklahoma franchise of Donatos Pizza, located at 1148 S. Bryant Ave.

Local ties and nostalgic connections

“We are very blessed to have a group of people in Oklahoma who represent Donatos Pizza well,” said Jane Grote, underscoring the franchise’s success in resonating with the Edmond community. The event saw notable local figures, including members of the Edmond Chamber of Commerce and Edmond Mayor Darrell Davis, who expressed his connection to the brand as a native of Cincinnati, Ohio.

The gathering also attracted Ohio State Alumni Association of Oklahoma board members, turning the event into a nostalgic reunion for those with Ohio roots while also welcoming locals unfamiliar with the brand.

Donatos’ philosophy: more than just pizza

“The Edmond community is finding the uniqueness in not only what we serve, but the people who are actually serving it,” noted Jane Grote.

Founder Jim Grote reflected on the company’s ethos, rooted in the Golden Rule. “We’re 60 years into the business, and the only way that can happen is to have people who care about what they’re doing,” he said, emphasizing the importance of quality service and customer care in the brand’s longevity and success.

The future of Donatos in Oklahoma

The Edmond location of Donatos, which opened its doors on August 15, 2023, marks the beginning of the chain’s expansion in Oklahoma, with plans to extend into the Oklahoma City and Tulsa metro areas. This expansion reflects the brand’s adaptation and growth, maintaining a family-first culture that has been its cornerstone since 1963.

As Donatos Pizza continues to plant its roots in Oklahoma, events like this meet and greet underscore the brand’s commitment to not just serving pizza but also weaving itself into the fabric of the communities it enters, one slice at a time.

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About Phil Klutts

Phil is an Edmond native and has managed to keep his wife here instead of traveling the world, which they both enjoy. They have two boys who love the outdoors, adventures, and learning new things. Phil is a problem-solver at heart and enjoys connecting people to the resources they need.

In addition to being the co-owner of Edmond Business, Phil founded the CK Group LLC after working for large and small businesses in the Energy, Construction, and Fitness industries. He focuses on helping small businesses and entrepreneurs improve their systems and processes. CK Group LLC's mission is to eliminate chaos and create clarity for small business by connecting vision, strategy, and implementation.