Here at Lockaway Storage, we know our success is due to our wonderful team. The care they give our renters is unparalleled and we want to highlight their milestones along the way. Below is an interview with San Antonio, TX team member Daniel Pizzuto, who is celebrating his 2-year anniversary with Lockaway Storage.
You can meet Daniel at Lockaway Storage on W.W. White Road in San Antonio.
Colby: Hey Daniel, what year are we on for you being in the self storage industry?
Daniel: I think it’s two or three, I think maybe two I don’t remember.
Colby: What made you want to get into self storage?
Daniel: Thats a tough one. I’d sold my business and retired and then I was just looking for something that would be laid back and not a lot of physical work, and I applied actually with Kristina. I told her my background and how I’d owned a business for 14 years. Just looking for something laid back where I wouldn’t be micromanaged and have a really good time. I like dealing with people. I had a retail store for a while. It was the first time had done anything with storage. It’s been fine, I like it.
Colby: What was your business that you owned for 14 years?
Daniel: I owned a swimming pool company. I installed swimming pools and I had a retail store.
Colby: What’s the biggest difference between working in storage and working on swimming pools?
Daniel: Construction, and obviously it’s a different clientele. But The facility I manage is a little bit different. Most of the people who rent from me are either working class or they’re 90 years old and haven’t been in their unit in 3 years. Getting along with the people and talking with the customers. A Lot of them won’t come in and make a payment if I’m not here, just certain people. They feel comfortable with me. I’ve got a good rapport with my clients here.
“I was the person who initially interviewed Daniel and I immediately knew he would be someone who would treat the store like his own and really run it like he owns it. He is a former business owner and I could tell he would be a great fit for running our business. He takes a great deal of pride in his work, in doing the right thing and providing great customer service. He has gotten to know our customers really well and they love him. That is really important to our company.”
Tristina Volesky, Lockaway Brand Vice President
Colby: You said this was sort of a retirement job, what do you do for fun outside of work?
Daniel: I don’t know. Obviously I have an inground pool at my house. I hang out there a lot. I race my truck from time to time. Dabble with that a little bit. Its an F-350. It’s a power stroke turbo. It’s all modified for racing. It’s still street runnable, It’s a daily runner for me but I’ll take it out and do quarter miles with it. I kind of like doing stuff like that, going out to the flea markets on the weekend. That’s pretty much it. I’m a pretty quiet guy. Work from home. I used to hang out with my son, but he’s at that age now when he doesn’t like to affiliate with his parents.
He graduates in June then he wants to go directly to real estate school. He works too. He only has 3 credits left to graduate. He’ll go to school for a half day of school then he goes to work then the gym. That’s his routine. He’s a good boy. He’s getting ready to go to spring break. He’s Going down to the coast with a couple of his cousins. We have a nice condo down there for them, so they have a place to stay. I know I paid for the thing, but I think it’s in South Padre, my wife is just like “give me money” and I’m like “whatever” So most likely they’ll be in South Padre.
Colby: Can you recommend a restaurant that’s down there that I ought to go to?
Daniel: You come by and see me. I’ll take you across the street to a soul food restaurant that will blow you away called Mr. and Mrs. G’s. It’s all homemade cooking. The owner of the place has a storage unit here. I went over there this morning to get some homemade mac and cheese. They only have it on Wednesdays and Fridays. The food they have over there is great.
There’s a pizza place down the street that makes the biggest pizza I’ve ever seen in my entire life. It’s huge.They’re packed all the time. They’re actually a historical landmark. Well known throughout San Antonio his wife just passed away a few months ago. But he’s still running the business. I was over there this morning and I sat and chatted with him. Real nice guy, great food, place is always packed, nothing comes out of a can, always made from scratch. It’s cafeteria style: you get your collard greens, your black eyed peas, he does fried catfish, fried pork chop, fried chicken. All sorts of different peach cobbler and lemon meringue pie. Everything is made from scratch. I go over there Wednesday or Friday and get my mac and cheese! There’s other good restaurants in town. A good friend of mine owns a restaurant
Martha’s Mexican Restaurant, that’s really good food over there.
Colby: Is there anyone you’d like to give a shoutout to?
Daniel: I want to say that Don is very hands on on. Very, very nice guy. Tristina, upper management. I went through family problems. About a month and a half ago, my dad passed away, and you know they were all there for me. I had my assistant cover my shift here, because I had to fly up to New York. They were just so thoughtful. Tristina sent me a card with her condolences. I think one of the main reasons I am with this company is because of Don and the way he treats his employees. The way that he, you know, he’s a very, very humble guy. Very nice. You’d think somebody like him would be walking around with a suit and tie on. He always makes it a point that when he comes into town he always makes sure to stop by my facility. And he’s wearing blue jeans and a t-shirt, you know, like “Hey Dan, how’s It going?” he’s just a really down to earth guy. He is kinda like the person I was when I owned a business. I was very open to my employees or if there was anything I could do do to help them with whatever they needed. I was always there for them. I think that’s one of the main reasons why I’m here other than the support of my district manager and other people in the facilities. If I ever needed them I could just drop them a phone call and they would be like “OH you do it this way!” I think It’s just a big family thing. Thomas my old district manager was with me for a year and a half and he was great. I like the philosophy of Don, “Run it like it’s your store.” and that works really good with me because I do. It works for me. I know what customers I can deal with and what ones I can’t. Again, I do little things for the company, and Don knows what comes out of my pocket like at Christmas time. I’ll make some homemade meatballs and I’ll put out a cookie platter for my customers. And I do that by myself, that’s what I do. Customers see it when they come in. I have customers who will come in for hours talking my you-know-what off. I can say Don has been a really big help.