Community keeps start-up pizzeria going

New Bowman company faces challenging first few months

TJ Honeyman takes a photo of his newly added, Next Door Pizza restaurant in Bowman. Honeyman's pizzeria may be new, but continues to push forward with the help of the community. (Photo courtesy of TJ Honeyman)

During these unpredictable times, the idea of running a new business can seem like an insurmountable challenge. One area pizzeria, which opened shortly before the COVID-19 outbreak began, shares its recipe for success.

TJ Honeyman, the owner of Next Door Pizza, had a successful business in Scranton before deciding to expand his one-store restaurant with the opening of the establishment in Bowman at 604 West Highway 12, in December of 2019. Four months later, the pandemic struck and the unimaginable became reality for Honeyman and his newly added restaurant.

“It’s certainly been a different and difficult time, indeed,” Honeyman said. “ I would say overall, business is probably down 30-40%, at least, but I think it could have been a lot worse.”

For a time, it looked as if the newly added pizzeria was going to be baked. But with the help of local financial support, the business is still up and running as Next Door Pizza is able to do delivery and pick-up options.

“We were the first in the area to shut down the dining room before the announcements were even made, so I’ve probably had the dining room closed for about four weeks or so, it feels like forever,” Honeyman said. “Luckily, we have a wonderful community, surrounding area that’s been nothing short of amazing in showing support.”


But Honeyman is not just thinking about his restaurant, but the first-responders on the front lines going to war each day fighting to tame this rapidly growing virus.

“We’re recognizing the importance of those people and that career and the path that they’ve chosen and the danger that they have been put in,” he said. “We’ve done a lot of ‘eat for free’ and some really good specials, we deliver right to the hospital, the ambulance garage, just trying to show our appreciation for what they are doing.”

Along with spreading the love of pizza with first responders, paying customers are the most vital priority to Honeyman and his newly established pizza business. As such, Honeyman continues to try and find new ways of showing the love and appreciation he has for those that have helped him and his start-up business remain steady.

“One of the true beliefs that I have is, the customer has chosen to spend their hard earned money at your business, and you can do nothing but repay them by offering them a good quality product at a fair price,” he said.

Honeyman added, “We definitely want to give people joy and happiness, especially in a time like this. We try to go above and beyond, to show everyone that we really do care.”

Currently, Next Door Pizza in Bowman is open for pick-up/delivery on Monday’s-Saturday’s 11-9 p.m. and Sunday’s 11-8 p.m. For more information, please call 701-523-6372.

Matthew Curry is a sports reporter and photographer for the West Central Tribune.
What To Read Next
Get Local