Makin’ Dough

Local Teen Enjoys Owning and Operating Greek’s Pizzeria Franchise

Writer / Jamie Hergott
Photography Provided

At 17, most teenagers are juniors in high school, maybe working part time, deep in extracurriculars, and perhaps starting to think about which college they want to attend. Nate Sims is unique in the fact that at 17, he was getting ready for his senior year of high school while also preparing to enter into a partnership as co-owner of the Plainfield Greek’s Pizzeria.Greek’s Pizzeria

Sims had to wait until after his 18th birthday to sign the official paperwork because legal business entities cannot be owned by anyone younger than that.

“It was four days after my birthday, technically,” he says, laughing.

Sims is a quiet, humble, confident young man whose warmth and smile draw people in. At 19, he is now the sole owner of Greek’s Pizzeria in Plainfield, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“It’s a really fun job,” Sims says. “I’ve loved trying something new, learning a lot about it and perfecting it.”

Greek’s offers pizza, breadsticks, salads, wings and calzones, all handmade right in the kitchen.

While owning a pizza joint wasn’t something he wanted to do his whole life, it fits his ambitions, which are to work hard and connect with people. Growing up, Sims didn’t know what he wanted to do. He decided he didn’t want to go to college.

Sims attended Avon schools through eighth grade, and attended a traditional high school for a year before switching to online schooling due to the pandemic. He began working at the Avon Greek’s in his extra time. He did play some sports, but he spent most of his time working. After a year, he worked at the Carmel location as a manager. He realized he loved learning about the business and slowly moving up.

The Avon owner contacted him about partnering on a new location in Plainfield when Sims was still 17.

“It was a great opportunity that was presented to me,” Sims says. “I started taking it more seriously. It became more than just a job.”

Upon his 18th birthday in the summer of 2021, he signed on to officially co-own the store and graduated from high school early, the following fall. He then bought out his partner in the spring of 2022 and is now the sole owner of Greek’s in Plainfield.

His parents and older sister are all supportive, pitching in when they can to cover shifts or help with social media.

While there are a lot of pizza places on the west side, Sims is confident that the quality of Greek’s can’t be topped. “We put a lot more effort into our pizza,” Sims says. “We don’t get our dough and sauce shipped in pre-made. We make it fresh. We have our own sweeter sauce that people love. That’s where our slogan comes from – ‘It’s our taste.’”

A typical day for Sims starts around 1 p.m. He arrives at the store and sometimes he has help from another employee. They hand-make the fresh pizza dough, chop veggies and prepare toppings, for about three to four hours. The doors open at 3 p.m., and most nights there is a steady stream of customers. Sims says carry-out is the most popular, but on weekend evenings the cafe is usually packed.

Sims loves being in the center of Plainfield because of the downtown feel. Greek’s has a large parking lot, and members of the community tend to wander in after walking downtown or on the trails. Connecting with people is one of his favorite parts of the job.

“I love talking to people and having conversations with customers,” Sims says.

He has learned that running a business can be grueling, and he has to be flexible and adapt when necessary. “I’m very hard-working,” Sims says. “It’s tough nowadays, finding enough employees, so I love it when I see people who are just like me and want to work. All my staff are very hard-working.”

Hiring, training and scheduling an entire staff can be challenging, especially at his young age.

Greek’s Pizzeria“They don’t always take me seriously, but they usually find out when to take me seriously,” Sims says, laughing.

Sims looks forward to getting even more involved in the community by participating in festivals and parades. He’d also love to open another store on the west side. He encourages other young people to chase after what they love and not give up.

“It’s definitely not the easiest thing in the world, running a business, but if it’s what you love, you should chase it and work as hard as you can for it,” he says.

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