Kyle Cohan searched far and wide before finding a career he truly loves. He spent years working in sales until his wife, Michelle, urged him to do something different. She stumbled upon a business listing for Leonardo’s Pizza Millhopper and suggested they buy it.
Only two years after the transition in ownership, Leonardo’s Pizza Millhopper is more profitable than ever before, and Kyle is finally doing what he loves. He recently shared his experience as a business owner with Collin Austin and Michael Dees on the WHOA GNV Podcast and encouraged listeners to follow their passions.
When Kyle purchased Leonardo’s Pizza Millhopper he was faced with the daunting task of maintaining the restaurant’s legacy. Open since 1976, Leonardo’s is a Gainesville icon, always known for its delicious pizza, kind staff and family-friendly atmosphere. Kyle was tasked with maintaining the brand and reputation of this local staple through a major transition period. With the help of his general manager and hardworking staff, they were able to bring the business to the next level with better processes and the same delicious recipes locals have come to love.
Owning a successful business is great, but Kyle has set out to do more than turn a profit. He uses his restaurant to get involved and give back to the community. Leonardo’s Pizza Millhopper often hosts spirit nights where a portion of all sales goes to a local school or organization. These events help Kyle connect with his community and really get to know his customers. In addition to hosting spirit nights, Leonardo’s Pizza Millhopper donates all leftover food to a nearby homeless shelter at the end of every night, equaling over $40,000 worth of food every year.
“It’s really important for me to use this restaurant that I have to help other people as well, whether it’s my employees or people in the community,” Kyle told Mike and Collin.
Running a successful restaurant is no easy feat, but with the support of his staff and his family Kyle has grown this business exponentially. Everyone working at Leonardo’s Pizza Millhopper has contributed to its success, and together Kyle and his staff are serving up the best deep dish in Gainesville.
“It’s an instant reward. You’re hustling, working really hard, cleaning tables, washing dishes, making pizzas, and at the end of that it’s such a cool feeling of camaraderie you have with all the people that you work with,” Kyle said.