Toppers Pizza: 50 Years—50 Stories
There is a unique story for every business on Grand Avenue. Toppers Pizza is a relative new comer, but owner Brad Vinton has a long history in the area and a deep commitment to Grand Avenue. In just 5 years, Brad and his partner went from one location on Grand Avenue to 5 locations throughout the Twin Cities. The Grand Avenue Business Association is proud to have Grand Avenue as the beginning of this growing franchise.
Below is an interview with Brad Vinton, owner of Toppers Pizza on Grand.
How long have you been an owner of Toppers?
Did you run another business prior to this?
How did you get involved with this franchise?
My business partner grew up in Wisconsin and was familiar with Toppers Pizza since they were founded in Wisconsin.
Read more about the Toppers Story
What is your history or background?
I grew up in the Northern Suburbs of St. Paul. I wanted to play football and stay in St. Paul for my undergraduate, so that led me to Hamline University. My business partner today was my freshmen roommate at Hamline. We always dreamed of owning our own business and spent many nights throughout college discussing on how we could achieve that goal. I also met my wife (Melanie) at Hamline University who lived down the hall from us and whom is a business owner on Grand Avenue. Her and business partner own Invigorate Life Counseling above Toppers Pizza on Grand. We love the area so much that 3 years ago Melanie and I moved back into St. Paul just off of Grand Avenue to work and raise our 4 year son.
What is it that you like the most about owning/operating your business?
I love working with my Team Members and creating opportunities for them to achieve their career goals. The only way for people to grow their careers is for Toppers to grow and the way we grow is with amazing people. These two go hand in hand and it is extremely satisfying to be a part of it.
What are some of the challenges you face?
Growing from 1 store to 5 stores in 2 1/2 years and adding 60 people to our organization has been a challenge to keep up in a tight labor market.
What about this business are you the most passionate?
Pizza is a very communal thing. Our customer usually are sitting around eating with family and friends and to be a small part of that is awesome!
What are you most proud of and why?
Growing from 1-5 stores within 2 1/2 years. To be able to grow that fast you need fantastic people who are willing to give it their all to the success of Toppers.
What are some of the changes that you have seen over the years?
Internet. The internet has exploded for our online ordering. Our online ordering has almost tripled over the last 5 years.
How long have you been a member of the Grand Avenue Business Association?
What is it you like about being a member of the Grand Avenue Business Association?
GABA is a community of small business owners who work hard to provide a destination for the people of the Twin Cities to enjoy with their families and friends. Grand Ave Business Association helps the business owner have a collective voice.
Toppers Pizza Grand Avenue
1154 Grand Ave
Open: 11am-3am; 7 days a week
Ongoing offers or specials: $7.99 carryout special Mon-Wed