Zeek’s Pizza – Mill Creek
Zeeks was founded in 1993 by two friends, Tom Vial and Doug McClure. A ski trip to Montana brought them to a Pizza Hut with a line around the corner. It was ten below zero — one of the coldest days of that winter, and here people were standing outside a Pizza Hut,” Vial said. “We had no background in restaurants, but we had a lot of entrepreneurial energy and a little money in the bank,” Vial said. When they returned home from the ski trip, they borrowed $15,000 from each set of parents and went shopping for a location for their pizzeria. “Starbucks kept taking all the really good retail locations,” Vial said. “Every time we’d find a spot, there’d soon be a sign ‘Starbucks coming soon.’” Eventually they settled on a tiny 580-square-foot space by Seattle Pacific University, on Queen Anne. That was 1993, 29 years and 22 locations later, they are still as stoked as the day they started.