March 26, 2021

New business owner saw need, brought pizza

By: Vicki Parsons - IT

BABCOCK RANCH, Fla — The story of one of Babcock Ranch’s newest restaurants begins with Bethany Hunt. And the fact that she wanted pizza. She really wanted pizza.

Her story is the part of our SWFL Reinvented: Moving Forward series. Every Thursday, we bring you a new story about a local person who has changed the course of their life to start a new business. And we track the ups and downs of their journey.

Bethany’s journey is just starting. Her new business is a construction zone right now. And she’s used to looking out at her neighborhood and seeing piles of dirt and bricks.

“When we moved it, it was a ghost town,” she says.

More than two years ago, Bethany’s family was one of the first to move into her Babcock Ranch neighborhood.

“Our kids did all of the activities, we enrolled them in the school, he hung out at the square every Friday and Saturday night, the kids played in the splash pad, like I said, we immersed ourselves,” Bethany says.

They loved the community. She says it felt like they were in a bubble, in part of Charlotte County where there really isn’t much else.

“And then we found out we couldn’t get pizza,” she says. “Nobody delivers here, we don’t have very many options. And I’m telling you right now, Dominos is not worth a thirty minute drive. In my personal opinion.”

But Bethany’s pizza dilemma was just one of the ingredients that went into what happened next. She was also at a point in her life, when her children were a little older and as a stay at home mom, she was looking for something more to do.

“It seemed like the most obvious thing to do was to open a pizza shop,” Bethany says.

Her parents have two restaurants where she grew up in Pittsburgh, so she says it’s in her blood. And when the new Publix shopping center opens up on Highway 31 in Babcock Ranch later this summer, Bethany will open up Pi Local.

“The fact that it’s mine, is what makes me most happy,” she says. “When my times are tough, I stop and I think, ’this is my new baby.’ And I can make it exactly what I want it to be. And even though it is stressful at times, it will be exactly what I want in the end. And even if I make mistakes I can learn from them and grow from them.”