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BizHawk: Pieology Offers Customizable Pizzas in Goleta

Members Only Barber Shop closes its doors, Nutbelly Pizzeria celebrates five years, Hardy Diagnostics ranked one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States, and Taco Bell reopens in Goleta

Pieology, which opened last weekend in Goleta’s Hollister Village, allows patrons to customize their pizzas with more than 40 different topping options. Click to view larger
Pieology, which opened last weekend in Goleta’s Hollister Village, allows patrons to customize their pizzas with more than 40 different topping options. (Sam Goldman / Noozhawk photo)

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From social media to clothing to food, customization appears to be the name of the game not only in the online and retail worlds, but in the food-service industry, too.

The latest local restaurant to embrace that business model is Pieology, a pizzeria that opened Aug. 27 in Goleta’s Hollister Village apartment and shopping center, at 7000 Hollister Ave., Suite 101.

“I think if you look at the attributes people are looking for in restaurants these days, customization is a very, very critical component of that,” said Shane Gray, a company spokesman.

“That’s truly where it’s going,” he told Noozhawk. “People love the whole farm-to-table, fresh food, no preservatives, no additives.”

Pieology was established in 2011 and has more than 100 locations nationwide, mostly in California. The restaurant is similar in its custom-pie model to Blaze Pizza, which has a location in Isla Vista, and Persona Pizzeria, which is located in downtown Santa Barbara. 

Pieology boasts over 40 ingredients to pick from for pizzas and also offers salads. The Goleta location also offers beer and wine.

Last weekend, the restaurant held a pre-opening debut with friends, family, law enforcement and firefighters, giving away more than 500 pies over those two days.

Gray said that the business has had success in communities that have a culture similar to that of Goleta, which was why the city was chosen for the company’s latest location.

“We just felt it’s a healthy lifestyle out there,” he said. “The community is really tight-knit; everyone really revolves around looking out for each other.

“You’ve got a melting pot, too, because you have the college kids, you have the retired folks, you have your families, you have people who are just trying to make a living taking care of people within the community,” he added. “And everyone kind of treats everyone in a really warm way.”

Members Only Barber Shop closes

Members Only Barber Shop — the tiny, one-chair business of 27 ½ E. Victoria St. — has closed after 21 years.

After an abrupt and considerable jump in the rent, proprietor Henry Franco gave his final haircut at the location last week.

Franco told Noozhawk that he has his eye on a new spot and hopes to reopen the business in November. Having to fold up a business in 30 days, he added, has been “a nightmare.”

In the meantime, he’s been working as a “pop-up barber” in friends’ shops around town.

Franco told Noozhawk that he had opened Members Only Barber Shop to help propel the industry into the 21st century with the mindset of “health first, beauty second,” and using, somewhat ironically, an 1800s-era approach.

Barbers of the 19th century, he said, offered more comprehensive and health-oriented haircut and shaving services, and better explained to customers what they were doing and how customers could apply those practices to themselves.

That ethos was lost, he said, during the 20th century.

“Barbers used to teach other barbers how to take care of their clients,” he said. “They don’t do that now.”

Franco said he hopes to open a new shop with a greater focus on educating clients and future barbers with the lessons he’s incorporated into his last 21 years of work.

Nutbelly Pizzeria celebrates five years in Carpinteria

On Thursday, the Carpinteria Valley Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Nutbelly Pizzeria and Deli’s five-year anniversary.

The establishment, at 915 Linden Ave., is owner Jana Gonzalez’ second pizzeria after one she founded at Lake Tahoe in 1999.

In addition to pizza, Nutbelly serves a variety of salads, sandwiches, pastas and appetizers.

“Business has been getting better and better every year,” Gonzalez told Noozhawk.

Carpinteria has been “very supporting. I have so many families,” she said. “One of my kids is in elementary school and one is in middle school, so I have tons of families who are regulars, and all my neighbors and good friends have been absolutely supportive.”

Hardy Diagnostics is named one of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S.

Hardy Diagnostics, a manufacturer of medical devices for microbiological procedures, was named one of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. by Inc., a magazine focused on growing companies.

The business was founded in Santa Barbara and is based in Santa Maria.

Of all the health industry companies on the list, Hardy ranked No. 392 in its fifth appearance in Inc.’s annual report. It came in 4,851st overall.

The rankings are based on revenue growth over a three-year period, and the 325-employee Hardy reported a sales growth of 45 percent during that time span.

“The healthcare industry is a solid one with much potential for future growth,” Jay Hardy, the company’s president, said in a statement.

“The real key to our current success is the enthusiastic dedication of our employees, who are now 100 percent owners of Hardy Diagnostics,” he said.

According to the company, each Hardy employee is granted stock in the company every year at no cost to them.

Goleta Taco Bell reopens after complete remodel

After its old, out-of-date building was torn down (minus the sign out front), Taco Bell has reopened its 140 N. Fairview Ave. location in Goleta with a modern, standard Taco Bell design.

The restaurant, between VCA Noah’s Ark Animal Hospital and a World gas station, is 18 feet high and has 15 parking spots, which is three fewer than before.

The old building was completely demolished seven months ago. A Taco Bell at 3771 State St. in Santa Barbara was reopened in June as the first Dunkin’ Donuts in the greater Santa Barbara area.

Noozhawk staff writer Sam Goldman can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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