TERRE HAUTE —
A family-owned-and-operated business is relocating to the downtown, closer to Indiana State University and business offices.
Footers Pizza last week began posting its new location, 248 S. Seventh St., the northeast corner of Seventh and Poplar streets, on Facebook.
The business is moving into a building that once served as a McDonald’s and later as a branch for the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles as well as an office building. The 3,400-square-foot building will have 1,200 square feet for dining and space for a card shop.
Ray and Jennifer Bledsoe have owned the business since April 1, 1993. They expect to open at the new location in early September.
The business is relocating because “we bought property. We have been leasing for 20 years,” said Jennifer Bledsoe. That will allow the business to reduce costs of leasing, she said.
Ray Bledsoe had managed two other pizza stores and decided to venture out and start his own business.
“We started out in the back of the [former] Overpass night club at 215 Sycamore, and then went to 1238 S. Third St. We then moved to the Family Video [at 25th and College] and have been here 10 years,” Jennifer Bledsoe said.
Footers started as a business that sold foot-long sandwiches, then included pizza.
“We have our specialty bread that we bake and make our sauce homemade every night, our pizza dough every day. It is the only Footers in the world,” Bledsoe said.
The card shop planned for part of the space is unique in that is sells specialty collectable cards, such as Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh and Magic the Gathering, plus board games. The business hosts tournament board games each Friday, Saturday and Sunday. “That was another reason we wanted to expand,” she said
Bledsoe said she thinks the location will help the business because it is close to Indiana State University and is located at a busy intersection.
The business has 10 employees, including the Bledsoes’ oldest child, a daughter who serves as a manager, and a middle son who works in the card shop. The business may add more employees, as it will triple its space for dine-in, Bledsoe said.
Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or howard.greninger