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Getting a taste of his dream

Ex-delivery driver takes ownership of pizza, sub shop

Ex-delivery driver takes ownership of pizza, sub shop

March 04, 2003|by NICOLE RITCHEY

nritchey@herald-mail.com

Dan Aufdem-Brinke has long enjoyed Italian food, and he's even delivered his share of pizzas - but now he's got his own slice of the pie.

Aufdem-Brinke, 30, assumed ownership of Asaro's Pizza & Sub Shop in downtown Boonsboro on Feb. 11.

"I used to work here as a delivery driver, and I've been coming here to eat since I was a kid," he said. "I'm looking forward to the challenge, to working here and to serving the public."

Jim and Sherri Asaro opened the small restaurant at 4 N. Main St. about 22 years ago. The couple shared the "tricks of the trade" with Aufdem-Brinke while training him to take over the eatery during the past five months, he said.

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"I am very thankful to Jim and Sherri for this opportunity," said Aufdem-Brinke, who lives in Keedysville with his wife, Stacie, and infant daughter, Kayla.

His restaurant experience is limited to his stints as a pizza delivery driver for Asaro's and a busboy at the South Mountain Inn in Boonsboro, but Aufdem-Brinke has honed his customer service skills in the retail sales industry, he said.

He spent five years in retail management at The Finish Line at Valley Mall and at Francis Scott Key Mall in Frederick, Md., he said.

Owning his own restaurant has been a dream for more than a dozen years. And though Aufdem-Brinke hopes to put his own signature on the pizzeria's dining area, he doesn't plan to change too much of a good thing, he said.

"This is an established business," he said. "I am not changing the ingredients that are used, and I'm keeping the name. People around here are familiar with it."

Eventually, Aufdem-Brinke may expand Asaro's menu, update the restaurant's computer system and give the restaurant a face-lift - including adding outdoor dining - to better serve the business' steadily growing customer base, he said.

"We want to change the dining area eventually. Nothing fancy - just a new look," Stacie Aufdem-Brinke added.

Her husband hopes future expansion will enable Asaro's to accommodate more banquets and parties, he said.

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