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Pizza Ranch Celebrates 20th Anniversary

By Staff | Sep 3, 2009

Darold and Diane Jamtgaard purchased the Pizza Ranch franchise in Emmetsburg 20 years ago. They took over Sept. 8, 1989.

Pizza Ranch opened in August 1988, explained Diane Jamtgaard. She and Darold purchased the franchise and took over the Emmetsburg store a year later. This store was number 35 to be opened.

“When we first started, there were 43 stores in five states,” said Diane. “Now there are 146 stores in nine states. We’ve seen the franchise grow.”

Personally, the Jamtgaards have seen their Emmetsburg business grow. And they have opened three other franchises. They still own the store in Jackson, MN, and their managers have purchased the stores they opened in Pocahontas and Spencer.

“Somebody helped us get started, so we can help others,” said Darold. “That’s kind of our philosophy. It’s great when you find the right people and get them in place.”

Amy and Pat Martini operate the Emmetsburg store. Amy is General Manager and Pat is Operations Manager. Both started working for Pizza Ranch when they were in high school, finished their degrees and came back.

The 1989 Pizza Ranch menu tells diners to ask about the Party Room, Pizza Eater’s Club, Fund Raiser Coupon Book, Free Delivery, Gift Certificates and call ahead to eat in or carry out. That’s pretty much how it is today, 20 years later.

Items on the menu have changed to be standard throughout the franchise. Stores have the same design and signs, the same items on the buffet and the same types of pizza. Gone are the days of an Iowa Chop dinner on the 1989 menu, and nine different types of sandwiches.

“We are taking this opportunity to celebrate with the community,” said Darold and Diane. “If the community hadn’t supported us, we wouldn’t be here. We’ve chosen Emmetsburg as our home. It’s a great place to live and the town provides a lot of opportunities. Join us in our celebration.”