Over the past 5 years we’ve been honored to call the Carter family our friends. Actually “friends” doesn’t really capture it- we think of them more as family.

For some time now they’ve been working to open their first MARCO’S pizza franchise in the Tri-Cities area of eastern TN. With the grand opening scheduled for Monday, Sunday was deemed “Friends & Family Night”. It also happened to be Mother’s Day. Blend that on high and you know what you get? ROAD TRIP.

After celebrating Mother’s Day on Sunday morning (Jen got a hummingbird feeder, an outfit that Addy helped pick out, and a hot stone massage), we went to church together and grabbed a quick lunch at a local cafe we like (Barry’s for all you Raleigh folks). Then we ditched the kids….errr….left them in the loving care of grandparents, and headed east.

We enjoyed the drive, some time to talk without “distractions” and the scenery. In addition to the mountains we saw some nice stretches of wildflowers.

We were able to surprise Bryan, Erika & Brady by showing up unannounced at the store.

We got the full tour of the restaurant, watched Brady make fresh pizza dough and sampled the wares to our heart’s content and stomach’s limits. We ate nearly everything on the menu and enjoyed it all. The Italian sausage and CinnaSquares were standouts for me. The store officially opened at about 1:30 on Monday and I had the honor of being the first paying customer. What did I buy? CinnaSquares of course.

Although it was a quick trip, we had a great time getting away, supporting our friends and reconnecting with each other. We’re so excited for the Carters and this new chapter in their lives. If past ventures are any indicator, this will be wildly successful.

If you find yourself hungry in Johnson City, stop by the Marco’s Pizza right across from ETSU. And don’t forget the CinnaSquares!

If you are interested in opening a Marco’s franchise in the Tri-Cities, Knoxville or anywhere up I-75 to Lexington, let me know. I’ll put you in touch with the area rep.

He’s like a brother to me.