Eric Thomas has wanted to open a pizza shop ever since he worked at Fellini’s Pizza in Atlanta.
“I’ve kind of had the dream of owning my own restaurant for a long time,” he said. “There was always a lingering want to do this, and so we did it.”
He and his wife, Laurie, purchased Jonah’s on Johnston in Forsyth about 12 weeks ago.
Eric said through the change in ownership they only closed for four days. He said they were able to replace the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, install a new roof and replace fixtures in 48 hours.
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“We got the place to where we felt like it was… operational. We could open back up,” he said.
Eric said he learned a lot from Fellini’s Pizza. He said they ran the place like they were brand new, which consisted of a streamline system with fresh produce and meats.
He said he is applying those lessons to Jonah’s.
“Our goal is we want to have great food at a good reasonable price, and we want to give a great atmosphere with good service and just create a hometown place for the people of Forsyth,” Laurie said.
Jonah’s opens at 11 a.m. Monday through Saturday and it closes at 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. They are also open on Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Although they have set hours, Eric said they’ll stay open late to serve tables.
“As long as we can bring them in and make what they want and give them good service, we’ll be there for them,” he said.
It was Eric’s dream to own a pizzeria, and Laurie said she jumped on board when she saw his passion.
“I thought it would be something we could do together,” she said. “He’s, right now, working harder than I’ve ever seen him work, but he’s as happy as I’ve ever seen him, and that makes it worth it.”
Laurie said they have put a lot of emphasis on providing good service to their customers.
“That’s one of the things that we’ve worked really really hard at is changing the service aspect, and making sure that we have wait staff that is attentive and that people feel like they’re valued when they come in,” she said.
Kelsey Evans, an employee of Jonah’s for more than a year, said she can tell a difference in the restaurant.
“Before we used to run out of a lot of stuff. We don’t now. They make sure we are stocked up,” Evans said. “The environment altogether is amazing now. It’s more friendly.”
Evans said as a mother, she appreciates how kid-friendly the pizzeria is.
“Everybody loves it. Everybody in town is talking about it. It’s better. It’s more quality food. It’s awesome,” she said.
Delette Clary, a customer, said she stopped by with her husband on their way home from the Atlanta Aquarium to Warner Robins. She said she used to work with Laurie at Houston County High School.
“It was amazing,” she said. “The bread sticks were crunchy and delicious. The sauce was good, and the pizza was delicious.”