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Garbo’s Pizzeria ownership passes to 2nd generation

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Garbo’s Pizzeria LLC, a Springfield company in business for over three decades, has passed to second-generation ownership.

Laine Scholz said she closed today on the purchase of the 50% stake in the business she did not already own from her mother, company founder Pam Babcock. Scholz became a business partner with Babcock around 12 years ago.  

Scholz said while taking over Garbo’s had been in her plans, she has held roles with Discovery Center of Springfield Inc. and FosterAdopt Connect since moving back to the Queen City some 13 years ago. Garbo's has been in operation since she was 8 years old, and she recalls working in the restaurant early on and staking her claim in a cubby underneath the front counter – where she had a TV and coloring books to pass the time.

"For me, it just took me proving to myself that this is what I wanted to do," she said. "It turns out that going out and experiencing other experiences made me realize that this is exactly where I was meant to be."  

Scholz added that now having her own kids, "they get to see us pouring into something that is directly impacting the community."  

Scholz declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal. She said Central Bank of the Ozarks and Rooney McBride & Smith LLC assisted on the transition.

“I am thrilled to witness my daughter embracing and continuing our family business," Babcock said in a news release. "It fills me with so much pride to see her energy and dedication, knowing that the legacy we have built will be carried forward into the future. I have full confidence in her abilities and am excited to see the innovative ideas and fresh perspectives she will bring to the company.”

Garbo’s Pizzeria operates in Chesterfield Village at 2101 W. Chesterfield Blvd., Ste. C101. The restaurant consolidated there around 2010 after at one point having three locations – with others on East Sunshine Street and South National Avenue.  

"In the future, I would like to expand to more locations," Scholz said, pointing to a five-year goal. "I'm still working on my strategic plan."  

Garbo’s, which has a menu containing a variety of pizzas, pastas, salads and sandwiches, has 18 employees. Scholz said changes she's implementing include the addition of fresh baked goods, specialty pizzas with limited toppings and an expansion of the company's work with nonprofits and community organizations.

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