Local franchisee to open third Little Caesars in Cape Coral
Some people are born into the auto industry. Others are born into electronics or the fashion world. For Cape Coral entrepreneur Jim Addis, he was born into pizza.
A third generation franchisee, Addis owns and operates nine Little Caesars in southwest Florida. Two of the nine restaurants are located in Cape Coral. On Oct. 27, Addis will open his third Little Caesars in the Cape at 30 Hancock Bridge Parkway, W., at the corner of Santa Barbara Boulevard and Hancock Bridge Parkway.
To prepare for the grand opening, Addis and his crew have been busy hiring, training, and recruiting employees. The beauty of owning nine stores in the area is that Addis can conduct training in already operating stores. This allows for new employees to hit the ground running on the first day.
In celebration of the grand opening, the new location will be having pizza and kid-themed giveaways during its first week.
“We give away a lot of kid offerings because we’re a family business and a lot of our customers have young families, so we try to gear our giveaways toward them,” said Addis.
Addis stays involved with the Cape Coral community by volunteering, holding fundraisers, and donating to local shelters. One of the company’s most notable traditions is the Love Kitchen-a semitrailer that doubles as a Little Caesars on wheels. Addis has brought the Love Kitchen to homeless shelters and food banks in the area multiple times. They’ll serve anywhere between 200 and 500 lunches per session.
“Jim is very involved with the community, churches, the homeless. You can’t say that about many people. He’s very dedicated to the community, which is a great thing,” said Dena Wanshon, southwest Florida marketing director for Little Caesars.
Born and raised in Farmington Hills, MI., Addis grew up with Little Caesars in his blood. His grandfather was the 15th Little Caesars franchisee in 1968. Addis’ parents also owned stores in Michigan.
“I remember learning how to hand roll dough, cut fresh cheese, do all the things as a young kid. And when I was in school at Michigan State University, in the summer I’d work for my grandfather,” said Addis.
After graduating from Michigan State with a business degree, Addis opted to follow a different path and began working for the pharmaceutical company, Pfizer. Despite living in Michigan, Addis was familiar with southwest Florida. His family had a second home in Fort Myers and would come often for vacation.
During the times Addis was vacationing in southwest Florida, he would notice that the area was lacking in Little Caesars. He soon brought this information to Little Caesars corporate in Detroit, who then offered him the opportunity to help grow the brand in southwest Florida due to his familiarity with the area.
“We seized the opportunity to relocate, pull up our anchor in Michigan, and move to southwest Florida-risked everything, frankly,” said Addis.
Opening a new location in Cape Coral is a homecoming of sorts for Addis. After moving from Michigan to Florida in April of 2007, Addis opened his first Little Caesars at 1715 Cape Coral Parkway in Cape Coral. A snowball effect soon began to happen as Addis opened one store after the other, eventually averaging one to three stores a year.
When opening a new Little Caesars, Addis looks to see what areas are being underserved and then plans to open a new store in that area. One of these areas happened to be the northwest side of Cape Coral, which is where the 10th store will be opening.
“This is a great area. And one thing that I am thankful for is all of our customers in southwest Florida. All of our customers are our number one priority,” said Addis.
Despite being the man behind 10 local Little Caesars, Addis insists he wouldn’t be anywhere without the people working for him. Currently employing more than 250 people in the local area, Addis cultivates an environment that offers growth and opportunity for those who seek it. It’s that business practice that Addis credits to his success.
“I’ve worked for Little Caesars for 14 years and I’ve loved coming in every day. It’s a career, not just a job,” said Wanshon.
Addis doesn’t plan on stopping at 10 restaurants. He has plans to open more in the future, while continuing to stay involved with the Little Caesars brand. Juggling 10 stores at once might seem like reason to brag but Addis remains humble to the end.
“It’s been a lot of work, hard work, a lot of persistence, a lot of recruiting of good people to get to that point,” said Addis.