Dain Peters was on the grind while many of his peers were spending their money on clothes and going out.
Now the 22-year-old is betting his sweat and sacrifice pays off when he opens the area’s first Pita Pit location at 1047 Brown St. near the University of Dayton and Miami Valley Hospital.
If things go as planned, Peters, who purchased his first home in Englewood last year, will open his restaurant the third week of December.
He fell in love with Pita Pit in Washington state, where he spent part of his childhood.
“The last two years, I have been working really hard and saving all my cash for this dream I’ve had to own a Pita Pit since I was 12,” Peters, the chain’s youngest franchise holder.
The Covington High School graduate secured funding from Farmers and Merchants Bank in Miamisburg and invested about $50,000 of the money he earned working for Fullmer's Landscaping in Dayton and by doing odd jobs for seniors into the business.
He started earning his own money as a kid mowing lawns.
“Since I was a kid, I was a penny pincher,” he explained. “This summer, I just grinded really hard.”
All in all, the business set to open in a 2,000-square-foot space that formerly held Amaze Saloon and Piercology tattoo and piercing shop will cost about $325,000.
Peters said the business will specialize in fresh and healthy pita sandwiches including Pita Pit’s Dagwood, Gyro, Souvlaki, Philly, Baja Chicken Bacon Ranch, Chicken Pesto, Boom Boom Black Bean (and the vegetarian) vegan hummus sandwiches.
“We grill your favorite meats and vegetables right in front of you,” he said. “It is a different and healthy option.”
There is a gluten-free wrap option.
Many Pita Pits set up shop around colleges, Peters said, noting that about 65 percent of the chain’s customers are between ages 18 and 23.
He said the location near Miami Valley Hospital and the University of Dayton is ideal.
“I know it is going to be a great area, and I know a lot of kids down there are focused on their health,” he said.
Peters expects to devote long hours into operating the business and employ about 10 part-time and full-time workers.
“I kind of put my whole life savings into this, and it’s up to me to make the thing go,” he said.
Peters said he’s always had an entrepreneur spirit and counts his uncle Roland Peters, the owner of a commercial construction contractor company, among his role models.
Eventually, Peters said he wants to support local causes and sports teams.
“I know that if I work hard, I will get there,” he said. “I just want to be as successful as I can be.”