- Community Development
Newport’s newest restaurant, Strong’s Brick Oven Pizzeria, is a hit with the city’s residents. It consistently captures four and a half stars of five possible on restaurant review sites such as Yelp and Urban Spoon.
Customers love the affordable weekday lunch specials and are raving about the eatery’s specialty pizzas, calling the pizza alla vodka “amazing”, and consistently complimenting the owners, Christian and Mindy Strong, on the quality of service and the menu.
The Strongs have been in the restaurant business their entire professional lives and had long dreamed of owning their own pizzeria. Through a business loan from Community Ventures, they were able to purchase a well-situated building at 336 Monmouth Street in Newport and buy needed equipment.
“For years, we’ve been thinking of doing something like this,” says Mindy Strong. “It’s where our heart is.”
Part of the Strongs’ journey included working with business counselors at Community Ventures, receiving business training and technical assistance, as well as a commercial loan. They were able to develop a solid business plan including detailed marketing analysis to find their “niche,” and the rest, as they say, is history.
Strong’s Brick Oven Pizzeria is flourishing, offering dine-in, carry-out and delivery. It’s a welcome addition to the popular Newport on the Levee area. Mindy Strong says, “We are trying to fuse really high-quality food into the fast food kind of model, and people seem to be responding.”