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Owner: Everything But Anchovies Was No Longer Profitable (Video with Radio Jingle)

  • Amanda Dowd-DeRoy of Everything But Anchovies loads surplus food and supplies for Willow Grove, a women's recovery residence, on Wednesday, May 17, 2017, in Hanover, N.H. The pizza shop reached out to local non-profits to donate their leftover food a day after announcing it will be closing its doors for good. (Valley News - Jovelle Tamayo) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • A photo board featuring Everything But Anchovies community members and employees hangs on display at the restaurant on Wednesday, May 17, 2017, in Hanover, N.H. (Valley News - Jovelle Tamayo) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Everything But Anchovies President Maureen Bogosian, left, her brother Mickey Dowd and sister Amanda Dowd-DeRoy bring frozen french fries to Mickey's truck for his Enfield restaurant on Wednesday, May 17, 2017, in Hanover, N.H. A day after closing their pizza shop doors for good, Bogosian and Dowd-DeRoy worked with family members and non-profits to donate their extra food supply. (Valley News - Jovelle Tamayo) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Jenett Chandler, of Corinth, Vt., looks through the menu of Everything But Anchovies before finding out the pizza restaurant is closing, on Wednesday, May 17, 2017, in Hanover, N.H. EBAs' owners offered customers who came into the shop the day after its closing free chicken sandwiches to help clear out remaining inventory. (Valley News - Jovelle Tamayo) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Staff Writer
Thursday, May 18, 2017

Hanover — The owner of Everything But Anchovies opened up on Wednesday about the reasons behind the abrupt closing of the landmark pizza shop, saying the business hadn’t been profitable since November.

Maureen Bogosian said changes in the restaurant business, competition from a growing number of establishments and high rent payments were three of a handful of factors that led to the financial downturn of the Hanover eatery, which was long popular with Dartmouth College students.

“It was a perfect storm of many, many things,” said Bogosian, who started the business in 1979 at age 23. “It is harder and harder to make a living.”

Fewer people are going out to eat, new eateries — such as Domino’s Pizza in West Lebanon — cut into revenue, and not owning the building that housed the restaurant meant Bogosian had little collateral needed to stay viable, the 61-year-old said.

Another factor that contributed to the business’ decline was the decision by Dartmouth College about five years ago to extend its winter break from four to six weeks, she said.

“It’s like you missing out on six weeks of pay,” Bogosian said.

Bogosian tried to adapt to the cards she was dealt, such as staying open an hour later on weekends to compete with a competitor’s late night delivery options, for example, but she couldn’t recover.

Tuesday was the start of a new pay period for the restaurant, and Bogosian met with her finance person early that morning. At that meeting, she said, it became apparent to her that staying open another week was a losing proposition.

“We weren’t going to come out ahead,” Bogosian said.

She decided to pull the plug on the business at 8:38 a.m. on Tuesday, she said, and that is why she didn’t provide her 48 employees with prior notice about the closing.

“We didn’t know,” Bogosian said. “Some people are upset. … We want them to know (the decision) wasn’t made easily.”

Bogosian’s four children, Margaret, Lauren, Eddy and David, were all at the restaurant on Wednesday and participated in handing out the restaurant’s signature chicken sandwiches — on the house. The kitchen still had food and supplies on hand, so Bogosian decided one last time she wanted to give back to the community that has supported her for so long.

“On a positive note, we’ve got a lot of extra food. If you’re in the area and want some of the last EBAs food ever, stop by for some free grub,” Margaret Bogosian wrote on her Facebook page.

Several people took the Bogosians up on the offer.

Eddy Bogosian, a manager who had worked at EBAs since 1996, manned the kitchen on Wednesday.

“You always think there is a chance of getting out (of a tenuous financial situation),” he said while preparing the free sandwiches.

He said he has mixed feelings about the closing. Though it’s upsetting, he also felt a sense of relief.

“It was fun when it was fun, but suffering is not fun,” Eddy Bogosian said.

Maureen Bogosian’s sister, Amanda Dowd-DeRoy, who managed the business, was at the restaurant on Wednesday, and their brother, Mickey Dowd, who operates Mickey’s Roadside Cafe in Enfield, also visited.

The sisters donated some of EBAs’ extra inventory to local nonprofits, including Turning Points Network, the Listen Center, Willing Hands and Willow Grove, and Mickey Dowd took some back with him back to Enfield.

Mickey Dowd, who at one time owned both the Lyme Inn and Dowd’s Country Inn, both in Lyme, worked at EBAs for 10 years in the 1980s, as did most of his 10 brothers and sisters.

“It is very demanding,” Dowd said of the industry. “Not many restaurants last this long.”

Dowd, who started Mickey’s 12 years ago, said his business is profitable. One thing he has going for him, he said, is that he owns the building that houses his business, which affords him more flexibility.

“The overhead here is hard,” Dowd said of EBAs. “That’s one lesson I learned. … I purchased the real estate.”

Rents are high, especially in Hanover, Dowd and Bogosian said; she declined to discuss specifics of what she paid to occupy its space at 5 Allen St.

Tim Cullen, owner of Ramunto’s Brick & Brew Pizzeria on East South Street, also rents his space and acknowledged the market in Hanover is expensive. “I don’t think anyone would argue that,” he said.

Cullen said he too noticed delivery “ticked down” when Dominos Pizza opened last fall. Anytime a new restaurant opens revenues fluctuate, he said, but his store has been able to recover.

Residents, including Cullen, are still trying to get over the shock of the sudden closing.

“It’s just terrible,” Cullen said. “They made it work for a really long time in a really hard industry.”

Canoe Club Owner John Chapin expressed similar sentiment.

“I was deeply saddened by their departure from the scene,” said Chapin, who added that Bogosian’s 38-year run of success was achieved with the “utmost integrity.”

Jordan Cuddemi can be reached at jcuddemi@vnews.com or 603-727-3248.