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Homeslice Pizza in Durango sells restaurants to Peak Food & Beverage

Owners of Steamworks, El Moro and Bird’s add to their portfolio
Peak Food & Beverage will acquire Homeslice Pizza and take over operation of all three restaurants. The purchase comes amid Peak’s push to expand its restaurant business and Homeslice owners Cory and Lynn Kitch’s decision to step away after more than 20 years. (Durango Herald file)

Peak Food & Beverage will acquire all three Homeslice Pizza restaurants in a local takeover.

The acquisition, which was announced last week and is effective Friday, expands Peak’s presence in the Durango restaurant scene, doubling its restaurants from three to six.

“It was kind of a joint decision, and something that turned out good for them and good for us at the same time,” said Peak CEO Kris Oyler.

“For us, it’s a way to grow in the Durango market, but it doesn’t really cannibalize our other restaurants,” Oyler said. “It’s pizza, so it’s very different than a lot of our other offerings.”

As part of the deal, Peak Food & Beverage, which operates Steamworks Brewing Co., El Moro Spirits & Tavern and Bird’s, will also acquire Homeslice’s properties at 441 E. College Drive, 2915 Main Ave. and 125 Mercado St. in Three Springs.

Homeslice owners Cory and Lynn Kitch’s decision to sell came on the back of Cory’s diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. The husband and wife team have run Homeslice for more than two decades.

“We had a dream when we started Homeslice, and, unfortunately, we cannot carry on the dream any further,” Lynn said in the announcement.

Though Homeslice will be under new management, there are no plans to change its business. Delivery service will continue, and the kitchen plans to use the same recipes that have made Homeslice a mainstay in Durango, according to Peak CMO Brian McEachron and COO and Executive Chef Sean Clark.

Peak, which is 40% employee owned, will also extend its benefits package to Homeslice employees, including health insurance, paid time off and ownership opportunities.

Peak’s move to acquire Homeslice comes amid a nationwide labor shortage. Across the U.S., restaurants have had to make do with limited staffs as they try to rebound from the pandemic. Yet, Oyler expressed little concern about adding Homeslice’s restaurants to his company’s portfolio.

“They’re pretty well staffed so it’s not like we have to go out and rehire everybody,” he said. “That puts us in a good position where they’re already running.”

Peak has no immediate plans for further expansion, Oyler said. For now, Oyler and his team plan to focus on acquainting themselves with the pizza business.

“We’re going from three restaurants to six, so I think we’re going to have our hands full for a while,” he said.

As Peak and Oyler look ahead to a new business opportunity, they will also look back.

“We’re trying to carry on Lynn and Cory’s dream,” Oyler said.

ahannon@durangoherald.com

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