MAN IN CHARGE: Franchisee Jessee Heilbronn at his Eagle Boys North Ipswich store.
MAN IN CHARGE: Franchisee Jessee Heilbronn at his Eagle Boys North Ipswich store. Sarah Harvey

Pizza stores part of the family

THE Heilbronn family, who have run the successful Eagle Boys pizza store at Raceview since 2011, took over the North Ipswich franchise in June this year.

Tracey and Wayne Heilbronn's son Jessee is taking the store manager role at North Ipswich.

It is a family business and each share in the franchisee of the stores, but for Jessee Heilbronn, just 20 years old, the opportunity to manage the day-to-day operation is a "wonderful opportunity and shows the confidence my parents have in me".

Eagle Boys Pizza is an Australian owned and operated network that began as a single pizza store in Albury, New South Wales, in 1987 and has grown to become one of Australia's largest pizza makers.

Eagle Boys Pizza stores are across Australia, numbering more than 330, and take pride in offering a variety of products including gourmet pizzas, gluten-free, low fat and healthy options.

According to Eagle Boys Corporate, the cornerstone of the Eagle Boys network is passion. The business thrives because of this passion and dedication shown by franchisees, team members and support office staff. Locally, this is well displayed by the Heilbronn family.

"I worked at the Redbank Plains Eagle Boys store in late 2007 and did that for a year. I then went to a competitor for a few years, where I managed the store," Jessee Heilbronn said. This experience set him up for this opportunity.

"My father has been in the transport business for many years and after school I was looking at doing uni. But I took a gap year and then the family decided to look at a business venture and we chose Eagle Boys," he said.

His previous experience with the company and the product range was what convinced the family it was the right choice.

A family business can bring its own tensions, but each has their own role. "We've really enjoyed working together and it's been a good experience owning the store at Raceview," Mrs Heilbronn said.

"When we started out we had in mind that we would end up taking on another franchise eventually, although we didn't think it would be this soon."

Mrs Heilbronn will now run the Raceview store on her own. "We've got a lot of loyal customers at Raceview who won't go anywhere else for their pizza. That's what we want to replicate at North Ipswich."

Taking on a going concern at North Ipswich has been just the challenge that Jessee Heilbronn was after. "I am seeing a lot of new clients coming to us now and I am building the business. It is great to turn this around. I enjoy the challenge," he said.

The stores now take a large share of the central Ipswich area and the company does offer home delivery, which he says is popular, but for those who don't want to wait or to save some dollars, then pick up is used. "No matter which way you get your pizzas, they are always cooked fresh."

Eagle Boys head office handles the marketing in-house and, according to Mr Heilbronn, offer a lot of support when it is required at the local level. "I can do my own local store marketing and things like the manager's special is popular with customers. Eagle Boys do encourage us to do this," he said.

Mrs Heilbronn said customers appreciated their staff always went the extra mile - carrying pizzas out to the car, opening the door and always giving the best-value deals were what set them apart from their competitors.

Jessee is in for the long haul, saying he saw himself in the role for the next 10 to 15 years.

"It has been hard work getting this store going but it is rewarding. I am happy having made this choice rather than study. It is perfect for me. I may look at something down the track but I do want to have a holiday soon though," he said.

He is an enthusiastic young man, very capable and passionate about what he is doing.

"I am always keen to get any constructive feedback from our customers, it is important to know what our customers think," Jessee said.

Orders for Eagle Boys Raceview can be placed on 3202 2606 or North Ipswich on 3202 2996 or call the central number 1300 324 532. Orders can be placed online or download the app.

They are open from 4pm

each day except Tuesday, which is from 3pm. The North Ipswich store is located at unit 3- 2 Pine Street, North Ipswich, near Riverlink.

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