Gadzooks Enchiladas & Soup
Aaron Pool, owner of the Gadzooks Enchiladas & Soup in Central Phoenix (and coming in late 2016 to Arcadia), can pinpoint the exact moment when his life changed forever. The Arizona native and then-ASU student was on a family vacation in Lake Tahoe, eating his mother’s beloved chicken enchiladas recipe when he had an “ah-ha moment – a fast casual enchilada restaurant where everything was fresh-made to order on an assembly line.”
But first Pool had to graduate from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, before spending the next few years in his mom’s central Phoenix kitchen hashing out recipes and mapping out his business plan. Then, it was time to figure out a quick cooking method, find a building, design the restaurant, and convince a bank to loan money to a 20-something with a dream and a silly-sounding business name, but no restaurant experience. He did just that by winning over officers at Pinnacle Bank, where he received a U.S. Small Business Administration loan.
And since opening in April of 2013, Gadzooks has received rave reviews and lines stretched out the door for its unique, infinitely-customizable menu of enchiladas, salads and soups.