Cathryn Rowdon of My Boys Pizza poses next to the playground dinosaur, which has been in the restaurant for around 40 years. My Boys Pizza opened in Feb. 2013, but Rowdon’s husband Don Taylor has owned the building for 42 years. ALIYA HALL/THE CRESWELL CHRONICLE
As the name suggests, My Boys Pizza is a family business. A continuation of the Mr. Machos pizza that Don Taylor owned for 42 years, My Boys Pizza is run by Taylor’s wife, Cathryn Rowdon, and his sons, Brent and Blaine Taylor.
After Mr. Machos closed, the Creswell community kept asking when it was coming back, and in Feb. 2013, My Boys Pizza was born.
”(Dads from the community) came here as kids, and we have three team members whose dad’s worked for us,” Rowdon said.
Rowdon has never run a restaurant before, and describes herself as the office manager, which she had background in. She comes in at about 8:30 a.m. and leaves around 2:30 to 3 p.m. She said she is in charge of the books and paperwork, she makes sure there is enough supplies. Even though she has the credentials, she doesn’t do anything in the kitchen.
”The a.m. and p.m. managers do that work,” she said. ”It’s finding the right people who can manage a business for you.”
The biggest challenge for Rowdon was learning about food during the certification process, but she said for Blaine and Brent they were brought up with the pizza making business. Over the years, however, there have been some unexpected downsides that came with running the business.
In October 2017, a woman ran her car into the back of the play area structure. It took eight months for the building to be restored, and Rowdon had to take down part of the play structure during construction. Despite the inconvenience it caused, Rowdon said the community stepped up to help her. The famed, green dinosaur that has been in the building for 40 years had fabrication work done by someone in Creswell.
Rowdon makes sure she gives back to the community as well. She said she gives money to the high school and elementary school, senior citizens, as well as rodeos that happen in the surrounding areas of Cottage Grove and Pleasant Hill. This year she also gave money to Umpqua Valley Rodeo because she overheard they were $200 short in their budget.
”I was like, ‘We can deal with that,’” she said.
She also tries to make the space My Boys Pizza has available to community members by offering room for meetings, and for birthday parties. She said she does whatever they can do to meet the community’s needs.
”It’s always been dear to my heart,” she said. ”My kids grew up here, my husband and his boys. Business owners need to give to the community and make sure kids have what they need. We focus on children, whatever we can do, we will.”
Along with its giving nature, My Boys Pizza differs from other pizza places because everything they make is in-house. She has employees who make the dough fresh every morning, as well as make the sauce – the same recipe that goes back to Mr. Machos.
Moving forward, Rowdon wants to grow My Boys Pizza. They now have their own pizza delivery car, and they have online service for ordering. Rowdon said she wants to change the routine of Creswell residents’ who work in Eugene and pick up food there to bring home; she wants them to think of My Boys Pizza and order a pizza to pick up on their way home.
”We’re trying to get them to know us better,” she said.
The most rewarding aspect for Rowdon has been hearing the feedback from the community that they love the pizza.
”When people come in and say, ‘We love this pizza and our kids love coming in,’” she said. ”It’s rewarding to hear, ‘We can’t wait to get there!’”
My Boys Pizza
96 N Mill St.
Open Daily. Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.