By Christina Ritchie Rogers
There are a few times it’s good to be “swamped” at work, and for Pita Pit owner Todd Wolfram, opening day was one of those times. He and his staff drew a large turnout of hungry patrons, excited to customize their orders of soft pita bread filled with lean, grilled meats, fresh vegetables, cheeses and sauces.
Each person that walked through the door Monday was greeted warmly, often by Wolfram himself, who would turn from the flat top grill or cash register to offer a smile and greeting. He wants to create a sense of community within the restaurant, and also to foster community connections around it, he said. Already he has made efforts at those connections, hiring a good mix of experienced local servers and local high schoolers looking to gain experience.
Wolfram also lives in the community he is serving – his house is just a few doors down from the restaurant in the Antiquity neighborhood in old Town Cornelius.
Now a single father of two high schoolers, he first moved to the Charlotte area about 20 years ago and worked in banking, NASCAR and real estate before making the switch to franchises – a path he was drawn to for the flexible schedule and opportunities for community connection. He also owns Caring Transitions, a company manages senior relocations, estate sales and downsizing procedures. Pita Pit is his first foray into the food biz.
Wolfram was drawn to Pita Pit because he likes the focus on quality and personality, he said.
“We’re all about fresh thinking, healthy eating, and we keep everything out in the open,” he said, referring to the fact that the staff, grill and fixins bar are in full view of customers at all times.
There are about 500 Pita Pit stores in the U.S. and Canada, including one in Charlotte – where Wolfram first got introduced to the restaurant.
Jake Bryan, who manages store openings for Pita Pit’s corporate office, said the Antiquity location is a good one for several reasons: first, it benefits from the proximity to Davidson College but probably won’t see the same “peaks and valleys” during school breaks that some of the more college-reliant locations experience, he said. Additionally, there is a mix of nearby residencies and businesses, and there is a lot of seating for everyone on-site, both inside and on the patio.
Wolfram is hopeful those seats will be filled with soon-to-be-regulars, he said.
Over the last three years, Wolfram has embraced the Old Town community as a resident, and for the last two has worked towards opening his first Pita Pit location (he plans to open up to four). He appreciates what Old Town offers, to him as a resident, father, and business owner.
“The energy here is incredible,” he said. “I love the focus on the arts, the local talent, the local music – it’s a really unique community and I’m glad to be a part of it.”
Christina is a local multimedia content producer and digital strategist. Formerly the editor of CorneliusNews.net, she is thrilled to work with the OTC team to once again help tell the ever-evolving Cornelius story. She lives nearby with her husband, Nate, and a small menagerie of 2- and 4-legged beasties.