GORHAM – Anyway you slice it, Gorham’s business climate is looking up, as a new pizza business opens this week adding more jobs in town.
A Papa John’s independently owned and operated pizza franchise opens Thursday, March 14, in Gorham with numerous kinds of traditional pizza and eight specialty ones with thin or original crusts. The new business is situated next door to Dunkin’ Donuts in the Gorham Plaza, 593 Main St. (Route 25).
Zareh Derhagopian and Michael Boissonneau, both Falmouth residents, own the new Papa John’s under the business name MZ Enterprises.
“It’s our first franchise,” Derhagopian said. “It’s a perfect location.”
Papa John’s will employ 25 to 30 people, mostly part time, and training sessions for workers began on Tuesday.
“The rubber is going to hit the road this week,” Boissonneau said.
Boissonneau previously worked 10 years for Disability RMS.
“I’m going to work here full time,” Boissonneau said about the Papa John’s.
Kirsten Holmgren of Saco, a 2009 Gorham High School graduate, is the assistant manager.
Besides its prime location on the heavily traveled highway, Papa John’s is situated near the Gorham Industrial Park.
Both owners are familiar with the area and chose the location from possible sites throughout Westbrook and Gorham. Derhagopian said Gorham was easy to work with. “No issues working with the town,” he said. “Everything is brand new.”
The restaurant is located in a portion of a space in the building previously occupied by a pharmacy that relocated. A space next door is being remodeled to house an AT & T store.
“The community looks more vibrant,” Gorham Economic Development Director Tom Ellsworth said Tuesday. “Good news all around.”
Papa John’s will be open 4-8 p.m. on March 14 with Friday, March 15, as its first full day. It will open at 11 a.m. seven days a week, closing at 11 p.m. except for Fridays and Saturdays, when it closes at 1 a.m.
“I’m going to live here,” Holmgren said with a smile.
The restaurant has seating at counters besides handling takeout orders and deliveries. Their drivers will deliver to Westbrook and Gorham areas, including the University of Southern Maine, parts of Portland such as Unum, and part of Windham.
The restaurant owners plan to be actively involved in the community.
“We’re going to sponsor a Little League team,” Derhagopian said.
To order a pizza, call 839-7272 (Papa).