When Ginny Morano was a teenager, hanging out in the 70s with her best friend in a bustling New Jersey pizzeria after school, she dreamed of one day owning her own pizzeria. For decades, the dream was shelved, as Ginny’s life took twists and turns, and she directed her career toward opening a computer consulting business in rural Maine.
When her New Jersey friend Deandra Kosch moved to Lubec, the two re-careering mid-life women decided to put that pizzeria dream onto the front burner.
While working with Women’s Business Center advisor, Ruth Cash-Smith, Ginny and Dee created a comprehensive business plan and obtained the funding they needed. Morano’s Authentic Pizza opened on August 3, 2017.
Located in a compact 12 x 32’ prefab building at the corner of the Franklin D. Roosevelt International Bridge, linking Lubec, Maine, with Campobello Island in Canada, Morano’s is a popular year-round destination. The thin crust pie features homemade dough, authentic Italian sauce, and high-quality toppings. Diners can order pizza to carry out or eat at the outside picnic tables overlooking the bridge that spans two countries.
What surprised Ginny about her new venture? “It really didn’t occur to me how much I would have to talk to people – while trying to make their food! When I was a computer consultant, my clients handed their computer over to me and let me do my thing. After I fixed it, we could talk about it. Now, I really struggle to talk and work in the kitchen at the same time.”
For other women who want to start a business, Ginny offers this advice: “I always encourage women to be their own boss – it’s a great way to reach your full potential in business. Three other pointers are: make sure you have enough money for operations; work with an advisor to assist you with ‘doing your homework’ before launching (business plan, numbers, etc.); and love what you do, because you’re going to spend a lot of time working it. Dee and I are always saying, ‘We could not have done this without Ruth, our business advisor.’”
As Morano’s celebrates its first full year in business, what’s on the horizon?
“Right now I work in the business full-time and Dee is part-time, due to her job as a seasonal Guide Interpreter at the Roosevelt-Campobello International Park,” says Ginny. “Hopefully by 2021 we both will be working full-time at the pizzeria.”
Their expansion plans include indoor dining space so their customers can experience the same authentic Italian atmosphere Ginny and Dee adored as teenagers.