In college, Jason Legaspi had the kind of day that, in retrospect, seemed to be pointing to his destiny. Without any forethought, he ate pizza for all five meals. "All three meals, and two snacks," he says with a laugh. "All from different places. One was from Pagliacci, and I don’t even remember the others." It wasn't until later that evening that he realized he'd eaten nothing but pizza all day. If that wasn't enough of a sign, both women he's dated — one of whom he later married — worked at Papa Murphy’s.
Jason began working for Pagliacci as a part-time cook at our Sandpoint store in 2006 while studying psychology at UW. After graduating, he continued with Pagliacci, eventually becoming the general manager of our Bridle Trails store. However, after getting married in 2010 and the birth of his first daughter in 2012, Jason decided to step away from the demands of management. He left Pagliacci for another job. But a few months later, deciding he missed Pagliacci and could use the extra income, Jason was rehired as a part-time cook at Pagliacci's Main Street location. While juggling both jobs, he interviewed for and was offered the payroll administrator position at Pagliacci in 2015.
Jason was honored during Pagliacci's Core Value Awards in 2022.
“It allowed me to move to only having one job, which is really awesome,” says Jason. And how was the transition from the busy teamwork at the stores to managing figures on a computer? “It was a huge change, and it wasn’t,” he says. “The company ideals and goals are all the same. So, you know, huge change moving to the office, but still working with the same sort of values.”
In 2017, Jason added benefits management to his responsibilities. He currently manages payroll and benefits for over a thousand employees. “I like figuring out things that will make this easier in the long run,” he says. His affinity for Excel and process optimization is evident, but what truly excites him is the people he works with. “Work is better when you’re working with great people,” he says. “Even when the work is hard, people are there to help and support you.”
One of Jason’s favorite personal Pagliacci stories comes from his early days working as a part-time cook. A well-dressed gentleman would occasionally come in on Fridays and work alongside the crew. Curious, Jason asked a co-worker who this man was, only to find out it was Matt, the co-owner of Pagliacci. Jason was impressed that the owner of a company as large as Pagliacci would work the counter. They had a brief but meaningful conversation about Jason's life and college journey.
What struck Jason most was that when Matt returned a few weeks later, despite overseeing a company with hundreds of employees, Matt not only remembered Jason but also recalled specific details about his life. “That's a true testament for who he is and what he puts into the company,” Jason says. This personal touch, this genuine interest in his employees, deeply resonated with Jason and solidified his commitment to Pagliacci. “That's one of the reasons that I'm here,” he adds.
Pagliacci's values resonate deeply with Jason. “It’s the way that people are treated when they work for the company. The core values, respect, and care for employees. And I think that's true even when times are hard,” he explains. “It makes things easier when you work with great people.”
Does Jason miss the hustle and bustle of a busy night in the stores? “I miss tossing pizzas,” he says. “There's something kind of Zen about it. As long as you're not overworking your shoulder, it’s a great experience. A mini workout. Then also seeing that perfect crust after you toss it is pretty cool.”
Remember that girl from Papa Murphy’s whose free pizza perk may have set Jason on his destiny? Rachel grew up in Auburn, WA, with Jason. They started dating his senior year in high school. Now they have two girls, Presley and Eloise, and have moved back to their hometown. “Visiting the grandparents for the kids is super sweet and easy,” says Jason. “They're five minutes away.”