Not many people can say they’re launching a new career based on their favorite sandwich, but that’s exactly what 20-year police veteran Josh Boyd is doing.
His first restaurant, a Pita Pit, opened Monday (Dec. 10) in DuPont.
His love of Pita Pit sandwiches started when he was a police officer with the Tacoma Police Department.
Lunchtime found him visiting downtown Tacoma’s Pita Pit, but he would also visit the Parkland location when work brought him to that end of the county.
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His typical order was a Mediterranean version of a buffalo chicken sandwich. He ordered it with buffalo chicken, spinach, tzatziki sauce, feta, tomatoes and cucumber.
“The first time I had it, I was hooked. I ate it pretty much every day,” he said.
When franchise owners open a new location, they create a specialty or featured sandwich for the shop.
You guessed it. That Mediterranean buffalo chicken sandwich will be the house specialty at his DuPont Pita Pit.
Opening the restaurant has been a year-long adventure for Boyd and wife Shelbie, who is still a Tacoma police officer.
Josh’s career shift comes on the heels of his retirement after 20 years with the police force. He says retirement feels odd to say because he’s still in his 40s. Consider this a career shift, then. He expects to have 20 more years to work, and restaurant ownership seemed a good match for the next phase of his life.
His father previously owned a restaurant and he always enjoyed the rhythm of restaurant work.
“I like the fast pace. I kind of like the good stress of go, go, go,” he said.
Giving restaurant ownership a try was an idea that sprouted during a work lunch break. While munching on his favorite sandwich, he saw a flyer advertising for franchise opportunities for Pita Pit. He applied, passed through the lengthy interview process — yes, there is such a thing — and started looking for a home for his new restaurant about a year ago.
The couple found a storefront in the city that was their top pick — DuPont. That’s where the couple live and also where Shelbie’s family has lived since the actual DuPont corporation operated there.
“It’s like a small town here, and everyone’s been stopping by to see when we’ll open,” Josh said.
As every restaurant owner learns, he stopped giving a target date for the opening after he missed his expected time line. Eventually, he started answering, “We’ll open as soon as we can.”
Turns out that was Monday when the store opened at 10 a.m.
Boyd will be an on-site owner. The restaurant will follow the format as the other local Pita Pit locations. Diners can customize pita sandwiches from a long list of ingredients, much like visiting a Subway or a Chipotle. It’s one of few Pita Pits in the area. There are locations in Tacoma, Parkland and Gig Harbor, but more are on the way.
Where: 1175 Center Dr., DuPont (near Farrelli’s and Starbucks)
Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays
Opening: Dec. 10