by Cori Hilsgen
If you are looking for more local lunch and pizza options, Sliced on College Avenue in St. Joseph will soon offer some unique selections, including a flaxseed quinoa pizza crust, a homemade Alfredo pizza sauce, a special tomato pizza sauce and more.
The quick-service restaurant, opening soon in the former Joe Town Pizza and Grill location, will offer pizza by the slice, a variety of salads and sandwiches in their deli case, hand-dipped ice cream, chicken wings and other hot and pre-made food ready for customers to stop in and pick up.
Owners Tanya Finken and Jason Streit will also offer a small menu of items that can be ordered for take-out, delivery and limited dining in. The menu will include a burger basket, hot sub sandwiches, chicken wings/strips, salads and more.
“I say limited not meaning what can be ordered and eaten (at Sliced), but in our number of seats inside the restaurant, about 20-25,” Streit said.
Sliced will also offer delivery service, from open until close, and late-night pizza by the slice from a front service window.
The two owners said they have a lot of creative ideas, and the restaurant will offer a way to showcase some of those ideas.
“It’s exciting to be able to build an independent business,” Finken said. “It really is a playground for us to incorporate and try new things.”
Finken and Streit plan to use high-quality ingredients to offer high-quality pizza and other items made from scratch, at a fair price. They plan to offer convenient – but very good – product choices.
Some recipes they are sampling include using peppadews, a sweet little red pepper, and a truffle oil-infused tomato sauce.
Streit said he has a notebook full of ideas he is looking forward to trying.
The restaurant interior design utilizes all available space with many built-in options. Designer Bob McCoy will add his artistic touches to the restaurant ceiling and light fixtures.
This is Finken’s fourth endeavor into the restaurant business and Streit’s first endeavor.
Finken has owned Kay’s Kitchen since 2008, and Streit has worked there throughout those years.
The idea of opening the restaurant began when Finken inquired about renting the restaurant kitchen for catering.
“The space became available and I was looking for a catering kitchen,” Finken said. “Jason has worked at Kay’s for more than six years and was looking for a change. When this opportunity became available, I decided to offer him a part of this business as a reward for all the work he has done at Kay’s. Long-term, I would like to see him be even more a part of it through more ownership.”
The new restaurant is a solution to both of their ambitions.
Streit, who was seeking a new career experience, will be the operating owner manager of Sliced on College Avenue. The business will add another kitchen and more menu options for Finken’s catering business.
“We have so many corporate accounts we work with here (at Kay’s) and we could additionally supply those places with pizza for catering,” Finken said. “It gives them more options.”
Finken is married to Tom Finken, owner of Finken Water Centers, and Finken Plumbing, Heating and Cooling. They have two daughters – Kenzie, 11, and Alexis, 9.
Tanya earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from St. Cloud State University and worked in the law-enforcement field for several years before returning to the restaurant business.
Finken’s restaurant background includes working as a server for nine years. She said it took a great deal of perseverance after several loan rejections. Help arrived via Doug Danielson at First State Bank of St. Joseph, now Sentry Bank, which allowed her to become the owner of Kay’s Kitchen.
She currently employs 31 people at Kay’s Kitchen.
Streit, 31, grew up in the St. Joseph area and earned an associate’s degree from the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Mendota Heights.
The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. A service window will be open 9 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Thursday through Saturday for late-night pizza by the slice.
Finken and Streit plan to employ about 15 people at Sliced on College Avenue and will be hiring for all positions including service-counter workers, delivery drivers, pizza cooks, line help and more.
For information or to apply for employment, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Their telephone number is 320-557-0500. They also have a facebook page at facebook.com/slicedoncollegeavenue.
Sliced on College Avenue is located at 14 College Ave. N., Suite A, St. Joseph.