SOURCE: Marco's Franchsing, LLC

March 28, 2007 11:03 ET

Transplanted Ohio Family Turns Entrepreneurs, Will Open First Marco's Ah! Thentic Italian Pizza in Florida; New Port Richey, 3/29/07

NEW PORT RICHEY, FL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 28, 2007 -- Bruce and Kitte Raber, formerly of Toledo, OH and their son Bruce, Jr. and daughter, Melissa Raber-Salazar, will open a Marco's Pizza at 9338 Little Road, New Port Richey this week, representing the eighth state for the rapidly growing pizza chain.

Dave Black, executive vice president of Marco's Franchising, a native of Florida and former president of Domino's Pizza who began his career in Florida, announced the expansion.

Bruce Raber, Jr., an electrical engineer and graduate of University of Findlay who joined the family business, said the new Marco's Pizza is a 1,600-square foot facility and will offer seven day a week operations 11 am to 11 pm with carryout and delivery service.

The Rabers will introduce Florida consumers to Marco's Ah! Thentic Italian Pizza. The Marco's menu also includes fresh baked subs, chicken wings, salads and soft drinks and offers consumers a choice of carryout, delivery and some sit down service.

Raber, Jr. said his sister Melissa Raber-Salazar, a veteran in food service, will manage the store and its 25 employees.

Bruce Raber, a 30-year production manager in the automotive and construction industries, and Kitte Raber, with 34 years of experience in residential lighting and retail management, said the appeal of being an entrepreneur, the good product and image of Marco's Pizza, and the large contingent of Ohio natives living in Florida encouraged them to switch careers and become Marco's franchisees. The Rabers plan to open a total of 10 stores in the Sunshine State.

The Rabers and their company, RR Pizza Group, LLC, will also open Marco's Pizzas in Pasco and Hernando Counties in the Tampa area.

The Rabers' franchise company, R&R Pizza Group, LLC, will be a family affair, with their daughter Melissa Raber-Salazar serving as general manager for the organization.

Marco's Pizza currently has 155 units in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Arizona and plans to open 500 by 2010. Additional information is available at or by emailing

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    Ron Hingst