Water Street pizza joint up for sale

Owner selling to spend more time with family

Story by Jessie Tremmel, Staff Writer

Jim’s Pizza on Water Street is looking for a new owner.

Current owner Rob Lorentzen has worked his way up in the business. He started as a delivery driver, was the store manager when the shop changed from Jeff & Jim’s Pizza to Jim’s Pizza, bought the shop from Jim’s family and now wants to sell.

Lorentzen said he has been thinking about selling the business for the past six months.

“The main reason is I’m here seven days a week and I have five kids and I never get to see my wife or my kids and it’s just too much,” Lorentzen said.

Jim’s Pizza is listed through an agent and Lorentzen hopes someone buys the business to keep it going, whether it operates as Jim’s Pizza or takes on a different name.

“The reason I kept it as Jim’s Pizza is because Jim was a good family friend and he took care of me for years,” Lorentzen said. “My wife has been friends with one of his daughters for 20 years.”

Nate Moquin, the ReMax realtor that Jim’s Pizza is listed through, said the shop does half a million dollars in sales per year. The shop was originally listed at $175,000 but is now listed at $149,900.

When Lorentzen bought Jim’s Pizza he had investors supporting him.

Moquin said he is trying to get a hold of the business professors at the university because he thinks it would be a great opportunity for a junior or senior who is finishing with business school to take over the shop.

“The investors that backed up Rob are willing to back up the right person,” Moquin said.

There will be an interview process, but if the investors find the right person they will invest in them.

“Even though there is someone new from out of town, someone who might not have a lot of money but they know how to run a business, that’s what they are looking for,” Moquin said. “There are actually investors that are looking to back somebody and I thought a university student would be perfect for that.”

Chris Dahlberg, a Jim’s Pizza employee who has worked at the shop for two years, said he would like to keep his job but knows it depends on who buys the shop.

“I’d like to stay, I enjoy working here,” Dahlberg said.

Dahlberg said working at the shop is different because it is not like working at a chain store.

Sophomore Jon Dintzner, who orders Jim’s Pizza a couple times a semester, hopes he can continue to get the great deals Jim’s offers, such as the $5.99 two-topping pizza.

“I hope it stays as a pizza place because a college town can’t have enough of those,” Dintzner said.

While Lorentzen does not have any plans for his future, he knows he wants to do something that makes it easier to spend time with his family.

“I get to see my kids in the afternoon when I get home, but it’s just not enough,” Lorentzen said. “I’m missing their lives and I don’t want to do that.”