Four years ago, the Daltons bought the financially melting Sugar Shack, turned it around and are now counting the chocolate coins. They hope to do it again with Cardo’s Pizza and Italian Restaurant, which they bought Aug. 7 from former owner Rick Floyd.
Joni and Craig Dalton said owning a restaurant was always a dream of theirs.
“It was a passion of ours and we knew we would do it,” Joni said. “When this opportunity opened (two weeks ago), we jumped at it.”
The Daltons hope to make Cardo’s “the best Italian place in the Rim Country.”
They have already taken the first steps toward doing this by weeding out underperforming employees and replacing them with new faces and remodeling the bathrooms.
They also plan to add several new items to the menu, remodel the rest of the inside and turn the patio into an intimate, romantic getaway.
One thing that won’t change is the pizza, which is made from a secret family recipe. “We are known for our pizza, but our cooks have perfected every entrée,” she said.
Lunch specials will also be added in addition to discount days for seniors and firefighters/police officers.
Floyd, who lives in the Valley, reportedly started the restaurant two years ago for his daughter. Ultimately, she could not run it, which left Floyd to manage it from afar.
“He found it harder to run successfully while being absent,” Joni said. “Because we are local and already own a business and with how successful the candy store has been, we knew we could turn it around.”
The Sugar Shack was the Daltons’ first business venture when they moved to Payson four years ago. When they bought it, however, it was on its last lollipop. Joni was able to double about everything in the store including the inventory, customers and subsequently, the revenue.
She looks at Cardo’s as “an opportunity of a lifetime.”
On Sept. 12, Cardo’s will celebrate its grand reopening in the Safeway shopping complex.