We had the good fortune of connecting with Lindsay and Christopher Lyons and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lindsay and Christopher, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk is the key ingredient to achieving anything in life. If we do not take real risks, like the kind that kick our asses beyond what we ever thought we knew or could handle, then we stay where it is safe and comfortable, and all we can do is speculate about “what ifs” and “someday” without ever having to actually commit, go all in, and start taking steps to making those speculations a reality. Risk is the most necessary action a person can take in starting the journey towards their dreams, goals, and future. Risk-taking has not just played a role in our career, but has been the dominant theme in making it all happen. We had been dreaming and talking about our “what ifs” and “someday” for so long that we finally had that moment where we looked at each other and thought, “If not now, when?”. We saw that Deli Italia was for sale and decided to buy it and bring in our own experience, knowledge, and passion for food and community. So, in September of 2018, we got married, quit our jobs, sold our house, bought a business, and moved to Denver. It was kind of like a snowball effect….once we took one risk, we thought,”Hell! What’s one more?!”. And honestly, that mindset has served us well in the last two years as we established ourselves as business owners, built a new customer base, brought in our own recipes, changed the menu, remodeled, built a bar, added a pizzeria, and are now in the process of rebranding entirely. Not to mention, we just had our first child a couple of months ago! It has been a wild ride so far, and we are so glad we decided to buckle up and go for it.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
We believe good food will always find a way to bring people together and that is a driving factor behind why we do what we do at Deli Italia Pizzeria and Market. We are so proud of the food we make and serve to our community and we know our community loves it too because we have been steadily growing every month! We have put in so much work every single day for the last two years serving customers, testing new recipes, changing the menu, fixing broken equipment, remodeling, beginning the rebranding process, seeking out new vendors who had the same high standards we have, and finding employees who love what we are doing as much as we do. When we bought the business, we had a very clear vision of what we wanted the business to look like and the changes we needed to make. But, as we quickly learned, change doesn’t happen overnight, and it certainly doesn’t come without opposition. Although there were many people who felt negatively towards any type of change we wanted to make, there were so many more people who were excited to see what we were doing and gave us lots of positivity and support and that is what kept us going. Being a husband and wife team has also helped us overcome obstacles in running our business; every time we face a challenge, we are reminded that we neither of us has to figure it out alone because we have one another. And yes, working with your spouse has its own challenges as well, but we really couldn’t imagine doing it any other way. At the end of the day, we went into business together because we value community and the way small, family run businesses contribute to and become a part of the community they are serving. Most of our customers know we just had our first child 12 weeks ago and we closed for two weeks when he was born. Many in the restaurant industry told us that was not a wise move, that we would lose too much money, that customers might not come back, etc. But, family is the most important thing to us and we realized we would never get that time back with our baby boy and that was more important that any amount of business we might lose. And it turns out, many of our customers felt the same way because not only did they celebrate with us but they came back and supported us even more when we reopened. We are so grateful for all of our customers. And, as we continue on our business journey, we will be continuing to rebrand, and in true Italian fashion, we will be renaming the business after our first born, Leopold. So stay tuned as we are excited to revamp our logo and name next year!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Oh man! We LOVE to do this with friends and family all the time.
Favorite Places to Eat: Deli Italia Pizzeria and Market for the best east coast pizza and subs (come on! I couldn’t not recommend us haha); Hop Alley has amazing Asian Fusion; Uncle Ramen has excellent ramen and is worth the wait; Stoic and Genuine brings in fantastic oysters to our land-locked state; Linger is one of our favorite summer spots as you can sit on the rooftop and take in views of the city while eating great food; and finally, Snooze remains one of the best brunch places that never disappoints.
Favorite Places to Drink: El Five has great good views and great cocktails; Williams and Graham is a fun speakeasy that never gets old; Bar Helix makes a wonderful selection of negronis and we love a good negroni; and Ultriea has a crazy good gin selection!
Favorite Hang Outs: Union Station is a fun place to explore inside and out; Rino Arts District is one of our favorite places to wander the alleys and look at all the art; Confluence Park is an excellent spot to bring a picnic, a beer, and some lawn games; and Wash Park is an awesome spot to walk around and explore the surrounding neighborhoods to look at all the beautiful houses!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
We absolutely could not have done this without our community. Thank you to our families and friends for not only believing in us, but also for supporting us in this journey with their time, resources, and talents. A huge shout out to: Christina Lyons and Norman Moss, Deborah and Dan Kennedy, Kevin and Joy Lyons, Caleb and Bethany Turner, Alan Kenyon, Justin Colvin, Chris Peach, Athan and Tara Pixler ,Kyle and Cristen Scanlan, Chris and Diana Starkus, Jacob and Maura Fletcher.