MOSES LAKE — Jennifer Garibay has no doubts about the best pizza at Guido’s.
“This is the best,” she says as she points to a small pizza covered with chicken, bacon and white sauce. “The Mama Mia.”
Garibay would know. She makes them.
“I do everything around here,” said Garibay as she cuts green peppers into thin slices.
She’s not complaining, mind you. Garibay has worked at Guido’s for more than four years, and she’s excited about the changes Guido’s new owner is bringing.
“I’m looking forward to all the new clientele. Things have really bloomed here,” she said.
The new owner is 24-year-old Bailey Jasper, a native of Moses Lake and recent Washington State University grad who was on her way to what she thought was her dream job in Bellevue when the previous owners wondered if she was interested in buying the place.
Guido’s is the pizza restaurant located in the Moses Lake Plaza, at 2707 W. Broadway, right in front of the Harvest Foods.
“I worked here through college on an off, and I knew the family,” Jasper said. “I decided this was an opportunity I could not pass up, so I said, ‘Where do I sign?’”
That was in April. It took a bit to get to the formal reopening on Wednesday, and Jasper continues to tweak the menu. But she’s excited to be in business, putting at least two of her three university degrees — a major in social science and minors in hospitality management and business management and operations — to work.
“Everybody loves pizza. Have you ever met anybody who is, ‘No, why would I want to eat pizza?’ Pizza is such an easy product to make and you can make it your own,” she said.
Jasper has slimmed down the Guido’s menu some, continues to rely almost entirely on fresh ingredients, has broadened the beer and wine selections, and is looking for as many local sources as she can. She’s also looking at a seasonal menu that will “expand everybody’s taste buds.”
But mostly, she wants to raise Guido’s profile in the community.
“It’s like the community really didn’t know about this place,” Jasper said. “People would ask where I work, and I’d say Guido’s, and they didn’t know about it.”
One of the first things Jasper is doing to make Guido’s more visible is Thankful Tuesdays and Thursdays. Every Tuesday and Thursday in November, first responders — police officers, sheriff’s deputies and firefighters — as well as retired military, emergency professionals and even veterinarians get 25 percent off the cost of their meals.
For Jasper, it’s a way of saying thank you for service as well as being a good host.
“It’s not a lot, but it gets people in so they can just enjoy themselves. That’s the whole point,” she said.
Because more than anything, Jasper said, it’s about being comfortable, enjoying good food, having a good time and making good memories.
“Pizza and beer on a Monday night. Pizza for a kid’s birthday party. Just pizza,” she said.
Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.