Molly Wakenshaw might be the newest pizzaiola to take the lead at our West Seattle location, but this general manager is anything but a novice. The Shoreline native grew up having Pagliacci Pizza every Friday night when her brothers delivered pizzas for us, so naturally she wanted to be part of the Pagliacci team as soon as possible. Shortly after applying to work at Ballinger Way, General Manager Mike Niznik (currenly at Bridle Trails and known for hiring the cream of the crop) scheduled an interview and offered her a job as a cook. Molly learned the ins and outs of kitchen life and began working her way up the ranks to become general manager-in-training at our Madison location and finally general manager at our Magnolia location.
Since she was at the forefront of Magnolia as we unveiled the newly revamped space and pizza-by-the-slice bar, she’s the perfect person to guide the crew through the West Seattle remodel.
We caught up with Molly to chat about how she turned her after-school gig into a full-fledged career, the pertinent advice she received along the way, and what she loves most about life behind the make line.
“I was 16 when I started and wanted to make some money during high school and then I was planning on going to college. I loved my job so much that all I wanted to do was work. I was given the opportunity to move up in the company and I’ve never regretted my decision. I’ve made a lot of really good friends working for Pagliacci.”
“Ballinger Way General Manager Brian Youngdahl pushed me to grow with the company. Without his support I wouldn't be where I am today.”
“I remind myself all the time of how proud [former General Manager] Tyrone Fabroa would be to see me as a general manager today. The time I spent with him taught me how important it is to be really positive. It makes you and everyone around you a lot happier.”
She’s a good mentor.
“I love when someone is really eager to learn something new. It makes work with that person easy and enjoyable. Also, I really enjoy training people to become managers.”