Pizzeria Project to National Media Powerhouse

The best stories come from the most unlikely places, like the back of a pizzeria. Ryan Frankel, part-time pizza maker and part-time student, found himself in the middle of multiple jobs as he attempted to leave a soccer legacy at Santa Fe College in Gainesville. Balancing schoolwork, living in a small house with four other people, and the need to do something more only lasted so long before Ryan made a move that would change his life.

Ryan’s boss at the pizzeria knew that Ryan had a mind for marketing after years of growing up in family businesses. That’s why Ryan was placed in charge of getting creative with pizzeria promotion. He started with printing a menu on top of the pizza box, soon adding coupons from local businesses (costing the businesses $50 a month in exchange for promotion in affluent neighborhoods. From there, Ryan realized that his knack for marketing could go beyond take-out and into a career.

That’s how his first magazine was born.

“Because he let me hustle out of his pizza restaurant, I have everything.”

Soon, Ryan was producing 15,000 quarterly magazines, largely thanks to his ability to connect with local businesses and include them in his endeavors. When his mom and dad became concerned about his lack of class attendance, Ryan let them in on his new business — they were thrilled.

Two years later, Ryan realized the need for a marketing agency — something that took what Madison Avenue offices did with 300 hundred people, and did it with 30 or 40 highly efficient staffers. Thus Frankel Media Group was born.

“We’re a group of smart, well-trained Swiss army knives who can get thrown into a situation and handle it.”

Ryan attributes much of his can-do attitude to the family stories he heard growing up, and the need to continue that legacy today. His grandfather survived Auschwitz. His grandmother lived in the woods for a year, hiding from the Nazis. These family heroes made it because “they were able to figure it out and adapt,” a sentiment that Ryan takes with him every day, with each new client.

That really is what the Frankel Media Group is all about — adapting for each client’s needs and making their goals happen. While Ryan has a difficult time saying “no” to new projects (even when they’re swamped), he’s got a confidence in his team that just won’t quit. That, paired with considerate resources and the need to serve each client well, makes his organization a necessary part of the Gainesville creative community.

“Don’t ever take ‘no’ until you figure out what you can do to make it happen for that client.”

Ryan and the Frankel Media Group are continuing to make strides and prove that they’re able to match those Madison Avenue offices in both creativity and productivity. Even amidst a changing world thanks to COVID-19, Ryan believes in overcoming obstacles every single day, making both his employees and his clients succeed.

“There’s nothing in your way unless you put it there.”

Listen to the 147th episode of the WHOA GNV podcast to hear more of Ryan’s entrepreneurial story.

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