Pita Pit celebrates success despite recession

Jim and Jeannette Talley fell in love with Grand Junction when they came to see their son play in the Junior College World Series in 2005.

Two years later, the couple opened a Pita Pit at 1230 N. 12th St., Unit 1.

The restaurant had its fourth anniversary in March, and the Montana couple celebrated Wednesday by offering pitas for $2.99. The offer attracted about 400 customers, Jim Talley said, more than double the usual daily traffic of 150 people.

It is offers like that in advertisements and coupons that have kept Talley, a resident of Great Falls, Mont., in the black during the recession, he said. While many economists would have forecast doom for a restaurant that opened right before the recession, especially one run by someone making his first venture into the food industry, Talley said he hasn’t run into much trouble.

“In all businesses, it’s been tough,” he said of the recession. “You just have to manage better. We’ve sent out mailers, and couponing is doing very well for us.”

Discounts have helped at the other two Pita Pits that Talley opened in 2007: one in Helena, Mont., and the other in Great Falls. Talley said Colorado and Montana’s economies are “pretty identical,” and that each store has performed well.

Talley said he has no immediate plans to open more restaurants, but he continues to oversee the three Pita Pit locations, as well as three oil-change businesses he has owned for years in Great Falls.


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