A Midwest-based pizza chain is expanding its Charlotte presence.
Jet's Pizza opened its second Charlotte store recently on West Mallard Creek Church Road and will open another on Park Center Drive in Matthews this month. The chain, known for its deep-dish square pizza with a crunchy crust, opened a store on Montford Drive in 2010.
"It's our specialty," said John Jetts, vice president of marketing, who founded the company with his brother, Eugene Jetts. "The deep-dish style is relatively new to the South and growing in popularity. Many people who've moved south from the Midwest already are devoted fans, and they're always excited to see a Jet's opening in their area."
John Jetts said employees prepare the dough and sauce in the store every day, and that the store uses high-quality ingredients.
The Jet's menu also includes salads, subs, wings, breadsticks and deli sandwiches for takeout or delivery. Crust can be "flavorized" with flavors such as butter, Cajun or garlic.
Jim Miller is manager of the new Charlotte store, and Eric Martin will manage the Matthews location. Both men moved from Michigan to open the stores.
Jet's plans to open at least two more corporately owned stores in North Carolina and is negotiating with two franchises that are interested in South Carolina, said Eugene Jetts.
The Jetts brothers opened the first Jett's Pizza in 1978 in Sterling Heights, Mich. The company now has more than 200 stores in 14 states.
According to Eugene Jetts, each store creates three management jobs and hires 20 regular employees and drivers.
For more information and a menu, visit http://jetspizza.com.
The Bean and Belle
Art teacher Jen Williams has increased the size of her classroom exponentially.
After teaching art in schools - including Charlotte Christian School - for almost 10 years, Williams decided to quit her job and open her own children's art studio. With two young daughters, Williams thought owning her own business would give her live more balance.
"It's just one of those things that's always been in the back of my head," Williams said. "I feel like it's the best of both worlds, being able to be a mom and a teacher."
In August, Williams opened The Bean and Belle in a 2,000-square-foot space in downtown Waxhaw. The moniker comes from her two daughters' nicknames.
Williams and her husband, Ed, who teaches history at Cuthbertson Middle School, are from Florida and met while students at the University of Florida. They lived in Colorado for nine years before recently moving to Charlotte to be closer to family.
Williams teaches hourlong art classes at The Bean and Belle for children age 4-14. Classes cover a variety of art forms, including sculpture, painting and drawing.
"We try and mix it up a little and keep it fresh for the kids," she said. "You can take art classes for an entire year and not repeat anything." Classes are taught in six-week sessions, although students can join at any time for a pro-rated price.
Williams also works with home-school groups and hosts birthday parties, group projects and girls' nights out at the studio. She limits the class sizes to 10.
Williams allows her daughters, Annie, 4, and Lily, 7, to attend only one class a week at the studio "so it stays special."
Ed Williams, who also is an artist, teaches the middle school art class at The Bean and Belle.
"It's kind of fun that it's become a family affair," Jen Williams said.
The next six-week session of art classes begins Monday. To register and for more information, visit www. the bean and belle .com .
The studio is at 103 West South Main St. in Waxhaw.