Originally Published: September 16, 2010 10:01 p.m.
Q & A with Debra Kovacs, owner/operator of Speed's Hangar Deli at 1030 Sandretto Drive, Suite M. The restaurant is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Call 759-7253 or visit www.relylocal.com/Arizona/Prescott/speeds-hangar-deli.
Q: How did you get into this business?
A: "The business was started on Sept. 2, 1992. I was attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, which I graduated from in May 1995, and decided to start a business which filled a niche in the community."
Q: What service do you provide?
A: "Speed's provides consistent high grade quality foods, mostly homemade from scratch and lots of it, along with fast service so that customers have time to enjoy their meals.
"Speed's also is there to help the community such as when that big forest fire threatened town. We sent over 70 meals for responders. We also send monthly care packages to the platoons of the local National Guard whenever they are sent into combat since 2003. In addition, monthly care packages are sent to Wounded Warrior Medical wards, mostly amputees, at Fort Bliss, Texas."
Q: What's the key to your business longevity?
A: "There is no one key to anything and that includes business. Vision, hard work, tenacity and consistency are but a few of the ingredients, but even luck plays a factor."
Q: What's the best business advice you've given and received?
A: "The best business advice was people telling me that I couldn't because I was woman, (which is) the best motivator you can get. My advice is that if never try, you will never know - but get a good certified public accountant and lawyer, too."
Q: What's something unique about you?
A: "I am not unique in the world, but I stand up for what I believe in and will speak my mind, voice my opinion. I am a big fan of Patrick Henry."
Q: How many hours a week do you work?
A: "Most of my working life has centered at around 100 hours a week with one day off, sometimes. I try to do no more than half of that nowadays, especially since I enjoy several personal activities such as painting and creating things."
Q: If you could take a week off, what would you do?
A: "A week off - what's that? I'd do more painting, gardening, writing and start building that fire truck for my grandson."
Q: How are you handling the economy?
A: "When economic times get difficult, and this latest round is one of the worst for most people, my philosophy is to continue giving high-quality service and foods while holding the line on prices as much as possible and keeping ahead of trends that have a sound base."
Q: What's something unique about your business?
A: "What's unique about Speed's is that our walls and tabletops are dedicated to never forgetting the sacrifices American servicepeople and their families, starting with my own, have made and continue to make, which allows us the right to debate and disagree with each other. At Speed's, we encourage folks to enter into lively, fact-based discussions and debates and to keep our sense of humor if possible while doing it."