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  • Writer's pictureEvelyn Wilkinson

Meet the Mind Behind Za's and Da's

Za's and Da's is a great place for students to eat dinner if they have an affordable budget. Photo by Brynlee Green

By: Brynlee Green

When in the mood for some pizZA and soDA, a new local pizza restaurant named Za’s & Da’s is a budget-friendly and welcoming choice for college students and community members. Za’s & Da’s is located at 726 N 50 E, in Ephraim, and is owned and operated by Kyle Thomas.

Kyle grew up in Hutchinson, Kansas, where his dad worked for Abbott Laboratories. After the company sold the business, Kyle and his family made their way to Utah, where his father bought a Papa Murphy’s in Richfield, and later, one in Ephraim.

After graduating high school and serving a mission for the LDS Church, Kyle attended Snow College as a business major before transferring to UVU to study special education, then philosophy. “I really loved Snow,” said Kyle, “One of my big regrets is not staying at Snow longer.”

After helping his father with the Papa Murphy’s in Ephraim for a few years, Kyle was offered to buy the location. “It just wasn't right for the area,” said Kyle, “I realized that you needed something that was quick, convenient, and affordable.” Following the purchase of the location and equipment from his father, Kyle started the process of opening his new business. 

When asked about the motivation for Za’s & Da’s, Kyle said, “How convenient would it be if everybody that left Walmart would just swing through the drive-thru and grab a slice?.. The idea came from just trying to look at the area, figure out what would fit best, something that would give college kids an affordable meal… I wanted something that was budget-friendly, and I'm sticking to my guns on that.”

Besides putting his own twist on pizza, Kyle commented on what makes Za’s & Da’s unique, saying, “It's one of the first places where the employees actually care… They want to see the place succeed.” Along with the employees, when it comes to ingredients, Za’s & Da’s “doesn’t cut corners,” said Kyle, “ We use fresh ingredients… We make our own sauce and dough in-house… The flavor profile, I would say, is drastically unique compared to the other places.”

As for the atmosphere, “It feels a little more friendly… It doesn't feel like a corporate type of place, it feels a little more welcoming, and communal, in a way.” said Kyle. 

Students and the community can find Za’s & Da’s on DoorDash, as well as Instagram and Facebook. 

When asked what he loves most about his job, Kyle said. “I love interacting with the customers… Keeping that friendly, open, talkative, social environment is kind of key to making people feel like they're taking part… I’m living the dream.” 

Being a first-time business owner can be challenging and risky. Kyle has had his share of challenges and gave some advice when he said, “The circumstances have to be right. You have to be smart enough to recognize what will work in a situation and what won't… You've got to take calculated risks, and you have to be willing to put in the work… Figure out whether the risk is worth it, and figure out whether it's something that's within your means to be able to control.”


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