Sheldon Port began working at Domino’s as a delivery driver more than a decade ago. He was 18 then. Soon thereafter he joined the military.
He stuck with the company, eventually owning a franchise in Huntingdon, his hometown.
“My Huntingdon store is super easy because I literally know everybody there,” he said. “It’s a small community, and I can say I’m already feeling that here.”
“Here” is Bellefonte, his newest location, which opened on Tuesday. The former pizza delivery boy is now the owner of three franchises, with his third found at 114 E. High St. in the county seat.
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Though he grew up 45 minutes away, he rarely ventured to Bellefonte. Occasionally he’d come for car shows or the spare visit, but hadn’t quite put the town’s specific beats and rhythms to memory. That’s changed, he said, as he’s gotten the store ready to serve its first customers.
“I’ve already learned a lot in the last few weeks of being here,” he said. “I’m excited to see what we can bring to the community.”
On a recent day here, he drove around the surrounding area, tracing the delivery routes for his new store. Just like old times.
“I think people look at Domino’s Pizza as a big corporation coming in and crushing the little guy,” he said. “As big as it is, that’s not who we really are: (most) of them are owned by guys like me.”
The new store has hired 14 employees, Port said, and is looking to add four to six drivers.
Once upon a time, he was in their shoes — right foot pressed to the pedal, the smell of tomato sauce filling the car.
“We’re a big name, but still a small business,” he said. “We’re looking to get involved.”
Domino’s is open from 10:30 a.m. to midnight daily.
Talleyrand Tavern set to tip brews
Another business is brewing in Bellefonte.
Talleyrand Tavern is set to open Monday at 211 W. High St. The bar is not themed, manager Joe Bann said, but hopes to be your friendly neighborhood bar.
“Basically you can come in, have some drinks, converse with your friends and have a good time,” he said. “It’s going to be a casual, neighborhood bar.”
Dave and Sue Brockway, the owners of the neighboring The Governor’s Pub, have turned the former banquet space into an intimate, 900-square-foot tavern. There will be eight beers on draft and a selection of 30 bottles, Bann said. The beers are all brewed in Pennsylvania.
A selection of appetizers will be available, including pretzel bites, onion rings and dips.
Talleyrand Tavern’s hours are 4 p.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, with happy hour running from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. during the regular work week. On Fridays and Saturdays, Bann said the tavern will be open 4 p.m. to midnight or later depending on business that night.
Law firm opens
A new family law practice has opened in State College.
Topinka Law, located at 2153 E. College Ave., will handle custody, divorce, equitable distribution, abuse protection, support and adoption, a release stated. The firm is headed by Barbara Topinka.
Topinka earned her law degree from Liberty University. She serves as Guardian Ad Litem for Centre County, and is a member of the Centre County and Pennsylvania Bar Associations.
She previously worked for State College practice Scipione and Kovalcin P.C.