Mother’s Day weekend 2019 was Wick’s Pizza’s 28th anniversary. The Louisville pizza parlor has seen massive expansion since first opening in 1991. With three locations in Louisville and one in New Albany, 2018 marked new territory. The opening of the Hike’s Point location at Breckenridge and Hikes Lane. offers new menu items, a reinvention of the brand’s style, and a sports bar feel with 30 60-inch flat screens.
This much steady growth over less than 30 years doesn’t happen without a lot of people who care. Office administrator for 17 years, Richard Bobo, and regional manager, Jeff Cotton, who just clocked 14 years with Wick’s, agree that the place is like a family.
Cotton, whose wife and friends work in the restaurant industry, one notorious for fast turnover, notes that Wick’s is an exception to that rule. He said there aren’t many restaurants where you can look around and count numerous employees and managers with over a decade of continuous employment, but Wick’s is different.
“We treat you like family. A lot of people say that, but here, you really are — whether you’re a customer, an employee, or a vendor. It’s the loyalty factor. It’s real. It’s not just something that’s said.”
Wick’s was started by once husband and wife team, Mike and Meredith Wickliffe, who put everything they had, and some they didn’t, into their fledgling business in 1991. They have since split, but remain business partners. “The business needs them both,” said Cotton.
“Meredith handles all the administrative, office side of the business and Mike is all operations and concepts and everything. It’s a good match,” said Bobo.
One major reason for Wick’s success, beyond a team who puts their heart into their work, is the fresh, innovative menu. Each ingredient is developed carefully, whether it be the pizza dough, made daily and never frozen, or the local produce that makes toppings and salads. Their award-winning pizza, voted many times over as Louisville Magazine’s Best of Louisville, is hearty, flavorful, and fresh.
The same time and attention have been put into the new menu items. The Hikes Point location’s flat top grill and deep fryers have put fresh burgers, cheesesteaks, and chicken sandwiches, along with fries, pickle chips, onion rings, and tater kegs on the menu. The new selections are so popular, a menu expansion is planned for all Wick’s locations as soon as adaptations can be made to all the properties.
“We’ll always be about the pizza,” said Cotton. But new items open the door for new customers. “I could eat pizza every day,” he said, but the burgers and other new options bring new dimension to the existing menu of pizza, pasta, salads, and deli sandwiches.
“You could go in every day at Hike’s for two weeks and have something completely different,” said Bobo.
The Fresh Burger is a mix of fresh, never frozen Angus sirloin, chuck, and brisket. Both Cotton and Bobo sang the praises of the breading that encrusts the chicken tenders and onion rings, a flavorful secret recipe that stands out among standard pub fare.
“Everything is made here, fresh, daily, just like the pizzas,” said Cotton.
The Hikes Point location also serves more than 50 bourbons, and is slated to join the Bourbon Trail next year.
Throughout his 17 years with Wick’s, Bobo says a lot has changed. He remembers sales reports being downloaded onto a floppy disk every couple days and driven over to the accountant’s office. People communicated though Nextel radios, and there was a single computer in the office that everyone took turns on.
“Bobo has taken us from the dark ages,” joked Cotton.
As the business has grown, so has its tech needs. A partner in these changes has been Duplicator Sales and Service. Wick’s uses a copier/scanner from the local, family-owned company in each location as well as their offices on River Road. Daily reports are scanned on the machines and emailed to HQ.
“If we need service, nine times out of ten, they’re out there the same day you call for service,” said Bobo. “If you need supplies, it’s next day delivery. If you run out of toner, it’s not like you’re having to wait for a big box that’s going to ship it three-day UPS from California.”
When the lease was about to expire on an office copy machine, their sales rep, John Ruffra, gave ample notice, allowing the company to make an informed decision on options for their next machine, continuing their contract in the most economical way possible.
“We really have enjoyed our relationship with them,” said Bobo.
If you’re looking for an office equipment supplier who’s in your corner, look no further than local, family-owned Duplicator Sales and Service, your unduplicated office technology professionals.