MURPHYSBORO - Whiffleboy's Pizza gives the impression of being a business operated by two guys with years of experience behind them.
But, "Everybody we deal with is twice our age," Brad Henderson said.
The company has a computer system that gives detailed delivery directions, up-to-date kitchen equipment, old family recipes, and utilizes some creative marketing ideas (when you make a purchase you can register your favorite team for the week, and if the team wins, you get half off your next order).
But this isn't being run by two guys who have been in the restaurant business for years. Whiffleboy's Pizza is owned by the 23-year-old Henderson and Tim Reiman, also 23. Both are still students at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Reiman is in his senior year of political science and Henderson is finishing up his degree in marketing and advertising.
They're pretty busy, they both agree.
"It's really tough," Reiman said. "You've got school, loan payments - this takes up three-fourths of our time."
But the two friends had a vision and have a bit of an entrepreneurial spirit about them.
Reiman said they were sophomores at Carbondale Community High School when they started thinking of opening up their own business. So they sat down and started writing a business plan.
Not long after that, the two were able to get Pineview Park - a lighted Wiffle ball field in Makanda - up and running.
They finished their business plan in November 2003 and presented it to a bank in order to get their loan. Henderson said it made him slightly nervous.
"What bank's going to give us a loan?" he said, noting their age.
But they got it and they had a good idea of what they liked to eat - wings.
Reiman said they started with his family's wings recipe. But they couldn't just make a living off wings, so they started messing around with pizza recipes once they got into their little shop on the corner of 22nd and Walnut Street in Murphysboro.
"Timmy's the chef, I handle the business," Henderson said.
While Henderson continues to rattle off a list of all the promotions he has underway, Reiman is on the move, running deliveries.
The two are business partners, but more importantly, friends.
"I don't think I could do it with anyone else, quite frankly," Henderson said. "I'm the bossy, everybody's got to do it this way (person) and he's 'let's see how we can do it.'"
For more information on the guys, their field and their business visit www.whiffleboyspizza.com.