Creating a place for fond memories – Katherine Blades
When I was young, I had a lot of great memories of doing things with my family. We always did a lot together, some of which included dining in at various restaurants. One of the restaurants I loved going to when I was a kid was just about any place that served pizza, especially if there were games involved. Locations like this provided a family-friendly atmosphere that was filled with groups of people, leaving us with recollections of evenings packed with great memories.
Now that I’m an adult, I oftentimes find myself yearning for those familiar moments from our past where we get in touch with our younger selves. It is something that seems to pull at everyone inevitably, and we find ourselves drawn to those places or activities that delighted us so much as children.
This is where our next Inspirational Woman comes in – a young woman who worked hard to bring a need she saw in a small community.
Katherine Blade, the owner of Blades Pizza in Ashville, Ohio, made the leap into opening her own restaurant because of this. There was a desire to provide local families a place to go that would allow fond memories to remain with them for years to come, just as they did with her.
“When I was a kid, I always loved family pizza Friday night, because it was family, it was friendly and that’s one of the big reasons why we wanted to come to Ashville,” said Katherine.
Ashville, Ohio is a small, local community, with a population of 4,214 according to the 2019 census. Katherine acknowledged that there was growth in the area, and that was evident with the businesses that were coming to Ashville.
What inspired the challenge of opening Blades Pizza? According to Katherine, it was taking a step back to look at what the community was in need of. What came to their conclusion was that there was a need for more indoor dining.
“We noticed there’s Baseball Dairy Diamond, very family-friendly family-oriented, but she doesn’t have any indoor dining. So, we said we want to try and bring something to an area that is growing. At the time. I believe the dollar store down the street over there was just being built,” explained Katherine, adding: “We noticed that, you know, with growth stuff starts coming up around it. This is a great opportunity to come in and try and bring something to the community where they don’t have something, so that was our big thing.”
In 2017, Katherine’s journey began when she opened Blades Pizza. Her parents have been a major help to the starting up process, offering her a loan that she is paying off. What makes this situation so neat, in my opinion, is seeing a family pitch in together to bring to life for others the very thing that she loved during her childhood – that warm, familiar environment of gathering with family.
“We just valued that time together, and I feel like there’s a lot of family-oriented things. People don’t take the time for their families like they should anymore, [so] we tried to bring it to an area that didn’t have it,” Katherine shared.
So, how does that atmosphere look after facing the difficulties that were presented in 2020? Many restaurants (and businesses in general) faced a lot of uncertainty. While some pizza places did have the luxury of being able to offer carryout and delivery, there were still hurdles that they had to face when it came to not being able to offer indoor dining. Nonetheless, Katherine has remained hopeful.
“I think we’re doing great, slowly growing. The pandemic – it’s been pretty difficult, but we’re managing,” Katherine admits. “What’s helped us is pizzas already carry out delivery, mostly. We’re blessed, we’re thankful. You know, all we can do is continue working, opening, trying to give a good product.”
Show your support by visiting Blades Pizza in Ashville, Ohio – where they’re open for dine-in, carryout, and even offer delivery.
Be sure to read our Blades Pizza review of their delicious subs in our brother publication, DimpleTimes.com.
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