Leader serves pizza and hoagies — plus faith — at Davanni’s

| August 14, 2014 | 0 Comments
John Barrett, center, with manager Jake Frenning, left, and general manager Rocco Preese. Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

John Barrett, center, with manager Jake Frenning, left, and general manager Rocco Preese. Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

John Barrett

How do you apply your faith and Catholic values at work?

I believe in the basic goodness of our people and try to model a “caring” attitude toward them that humbly supports their good work and commitment. We do the right thing, even when difficult or painful. We put others first. I often make the Sign of the Cross while driving to work and offer up a prayer for someone I work with. I like to let them know I am doing that so they feel supported and loved. God loves us unconditionally. I try to do the same.

Please tell a story about a time when applying your faith at work really made a difference.

I teach service seminars to employees in our shops, and I share the story of the customer who called me years ago to say how well his “normally bullied” son was treated the night before in one of our shops. The employee went out of his way to acknowledge this kid and make him feel special. It brought tears to the dad’s eyes and still does to mine. God makes a difference through us when we touch others in small ways like that.

Who or what has been most inspirational to you in bringing your faith to the marketplace?

My co-worker Bob Stupka is remarkable! We both grew up in Nativity parish in St. Paul and he has long been my mentor in doing the right thing and caring for our people as people. He also has a strong faith, so we can really connect with each other. Life is more than pizza and hoagies at Davanni’s.

What achievement at work are you most proud of?

The success of the people I work with. It’s so not about me, it’s about them!

In what specific ways have you experienced God’s presence in your workplace?

People struggle with everyday life at home and at work. We actively support their life outside of work as well as their efforts under our roof. I see God’s presence in the way our people support each other and the way they genuinely treat our customers as real people and value them.

There is a lot of love going on at Davanni’s!


Age: 58

Company: Davanni’s Pizza and Hot Hoagies

Title: Chief operating officer

Parish: Holy Spirit in St. Paul

Spouse: Helen

Children: Patrick, 33; Joseph, 29; and Annemarie, 24

Volunteer activities: Parish trustee, Administrative Council, choir and cantor at Holy Spirit, and the Cretin High School class of 1974 reunion coordinator

Tags: , , ,

Category: Leading With Faith