Community Futures Sagehill

515 Mayer Street, Bruno, SK - Phone: (306) 369-2610

Leonard and Donna Bruce, King’s Chicken & Pizza

  • Sagehill Success Stories

     Working in the food industry has always been a family venture for Leonard Bruce. Helping his mother with her catering business led to Leonard and his wife, Donna, taking on King’s Chicken & Pizza in Rosthern in 2005, providing homemade food to Rosthern and area at their restaurant, catering, and eventually with their food truck.

     Leonard and Donna continue to make it a family affair with their three children. “We’ve got to do something for our kids. We want them to have a future. So what do we do? That's how we came up with the restaurant,” says Leonard.

     Getting their kids through school was the biggest goal that Leonard and Donna wanted while owning their restaurant. Their children have been a major contributor to the running of the business, even as COVID has kept them at home and doing their university classes online. They know the ins and outs, says Leonard, from food prep and catering to day-to-day transactions and ordering.

     While staffing can always be a challenge; whether at the start of business or years later, a lot of their success has been thanks to their kids’ involvement in the business and support from some amazing long-term staff, says Leonard. The work of their great manager has allowed both Leonard and Donna to continue with full-time jobs; Leonard as a corrections officer and Donna as the administrative assistant at a local school.

     “[The manager] was a big asset for us. Basically, if I was working shift work, I wasn't here in the mornings to open up she'd be here,” says Leonard. “She dealt with the day-to-day transactions or problems that arose if I wasn’t here or she’d give me a call. Without her, we wouldn't have been able to have the success that we have.”

     While the plan was for Leonard to retire from corrections and run the restaurant full time, he sees that as something for the future. The restaurant is their nest egg, he says, so he wants to take on more responsibility and continue to adapt and grow the business with plans for a possible second location.

     From the start of their search for a business to take on, Sagehill Community Futures has also been a key to the success of King’s Chicken & Pizza, says Leonard.

     Whether it was discussing what Leonard and Donna needed to get their business started or needing some clarification on certain things, Sagehill was always there for them.

     “They were with us every step of the way,” Leonard says.

     From golf tournaments and fundraisers to weddings and family reunions, Leonard is proud that King’s Chicken & Pizza has been a part of the Rosthern community and they are excited to expand on that success.

     “We have a lot of support from the town, but we also support the town, as well. We need to support, like even with COVID here, [the school] had a virtual grad. We supplied all the pizza for their dinner.”

     Even with their success over the past 15 years; and their dreams of expanding their business, that’s not to say there haven’t been challenges along the way, says Leonard. The number of restaurants in Rosthern has grown since they took ownership of King’s Chicken & Pizza, and they have had to fight for every customer they have. But adapting (especially during COVID-19), expanding, and listening to your customers has been the reason they have succeeded, he says.