Andy Freitas '92, Pizza franchisee

Andy Freitas '92Economics Major
Currently working in: Washington DC area

The Record, December 2010 --  PIZZA AND PERSEVERENCE have been a recipe for success for Andy Freitas '92. He owns and operates 53 Papa John's Pizza franchises in the Washington, D.C. area and was named the brand's 2009 National Franchise of the Year.

Entrepreneurially inclined students can get a valuable lesson in business from him, and he is working on that. In conjunction with the Center for the Study of Political Economy, Frietas spoke to students about his business experience, beginning with the first store he and his father opened in 1992. "I treated the store like I owned it, even though I didn't own anything. I borrowed  money from family and friends and worked my tail off."

Knowing where to put stores, working hard, expecting a lot out of your employees, and partnering with a good brand are what Freitas calls his keys to his success. He admits, though, that he has a deep-seated desire to succeed. "When I was in college, I spent my summers running a landscaping company and cleaning houses; I would do anything. But when I got [to Hampden-Sydney] I didn't do anything. This is the only place I have failed, and I never want to do that again. I think I have been trying to make up for my time there ever since I left."

Freitas spent some of his time during his recent visit to campus talking one-on-one with students taking part in the Center's entrepreneurship competition. The competition requires teams of up to four students to create and submit a written business plan. Students with the best business plan have the opportunity to put their plan into action with the help of affiliated "venture capitalists."

"President Howard connected me with the CSPE," says Frietas. "I think both he and [economics professor] Tony Carilli have a desire to have kids prepared to go off into the world and be successful without having to go to a specialized graduate school. I am still a big believer in graduate school, but I know that there are many kids like myself who didn't have the grades or the desire to go to further schooling. I have already worked with a bunch of kids to help them find connections in the fields they are interested in. In some cases, the kids have sought my counsel and for that I am truly flattered. Most importantly, I will be helping the professors involved with the CSPE with the marketing of the Center. My business is all about local store marketing. Hopefully, my team can come up with some ideas that will help these guys promote their wonderful program."