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'Tough times don't last, tough people do': Owners of Katie's Pizza overcome obstacles to find success

"All you need is drive, and purpose, and just enough grit"

ST. LOUIS — There is a song by the rapper Drake called “Started from the bottom.” It would make for a great theme song from the couple behind Katie’s Pizza & Pasta.

Katie and Ted Collier have faced a number of setbacks but keep moving forward. 

In their industrial kitchen you will find woodburning ovens and people putting toppings on pizzas. They have become the ingredients of a success story.

“There’s something really cool happening. I think it’s because we stuck it out,” said Katie.

They stayed in business over the pandemic by making frozen pizzas and delivering them. 

“Incredibly uplifting during a scary time, we didn’t give up,” she said. 

That business move wasn’t the first time that the couple did not give up. They faced hurdles in their efforts to launch the restaurant. 

“The banks just didn’t want to lend,” said Ted.

“I didn’t think about what a huge challenge it was going to be to get to where we are today,” said Katie. 

They kept the faith and they’re doing business. Faith played a role in helping to overcome from the very beginning. They had to weather some low times. 

“We were both really at low points,” Ted said.

“I struggled with addiction when I took my first drink. I had lost everything and was living in a halfway house,” Katie said. 

Katie and Ted found the strength to pick themselves up in each other. 

“Builds your self-esteem because you know someone loves you and believes in you, when you didn’t,” she said. 

Now, the Colliers are spreading the love. One Tuesday each month they donate 100% of the profits from the restaurant to a local charity. So far, their “Give Back Tuesdays” have raised over $250,000 for a variety of local charities. 

“We just wanted to give back to the hometown that we love and believe in,” said Ted. 

They are able to give back because they refused to give in.

“Tough times don’t last, tough people do,” said Ted. 

The success of the Colliers stems from their toughness. It has given them a recipe to make it in life.

“All you need is drive, and purpose, and just enough grit,” Katie said.

Those attributes have given a confidence for the days to come. 

“Feel like whatever comes, we’ll tackle it,” said Ted.

Katie’s frozen pizzas can be found in local Dierberg’s grocery stores. The couple also has two restaurants in Rock Hill andTown and Country. 

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