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Pizza restaurant betting on Santa Clarita

Toppers Pizza is excited about the area and likes the SCV’s vibe

Posted: February 10, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 10, 2013 2:00 a.m.

The empty restaurant at the corner of Magic Mountain Parkway and Valencia Boulevard will become Topper's Pizza. (Dan Watson/The Signal)

Feeling confident in the economy and their product, and betting on Santa Clarita, Ventura-County based Toppers Pizza is fully renovating two buildings in the city to open as restaurants later this year.

The first pizza restaurant to open is at the former Bob’s Big Boy location at 23710 Valencia Blvd. and Magic Mountain Pkwy.

“They have a demolition permit now and will be making exterior modifications, re-doing the parking lot and adding landscaping,” said Jason Killebrew, assistant planner with the city of Santa Clarita.

The actual physical footprint of the building remains the same, Killebrew said.

The second location is at 18411 Soledad Canyon Road and Sierra Highway in Canyon Country, he said.

The family owned and operated company was started more than 20 years ago by Vim and Beth Jonker. Together they currently have seven pizza restaurants in Ventura County.

“I really think Santa Clarita is the kind of community we fit into,” Beth Jonker said. “The community fit the vibe. Families are our business and it seemed like a perfect fit.”

Toppers has operated out of Ventura County for a long time, she said, and the family isn’t interested in becoming too large.

“Logistically we’re kind of close to Santa Clarita and think it’s a marvelous community,” Jonker said.

Toppers has architects and engineers planning changes to the buildings’ interiors, and hope to gain the city planning department’s blessing when they submit their plans to upgrade the two facilities, she said.

Pizza restaurants form a $43 billion business, according to market research firm IBIS World.

Although the industry felt the heat as consumer spending patterns changed during the past five years, IBIS reports it grew some 4.5 percent during 2012 and projects an average yearly 2.9 percent growth rate through 2017.

Employing close to 900,000 people industry-wide, there are some 64,695 businesses. And Santa Clarita isn’t exactly short on pizza restaurant options.

It’s not cheap to renovate and open two new locations, Jonker said. And as owners they realize it’s tough to enter a new market and community.

But Toppers is counting on the way it connects with the communities in which their restaurants operate, the fresh quality of ingredients and its thin crusts, as well as the interior designs to help them succeed locally.

“We’re very excited about the city. It’s an exciting prospect for us,” Jonker said. “We believe we can fill a niche there.”



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