HULL, Iowa (KELO) — You’ll find Pizza Ranch restaurants all over the Midwest.

The chain started in KELOLAND.

Hull, Iowa is home to the very first Pizza Ranch.

Founder and president, Adrie Groeneweg, was just 19 when the restaurant opened in the small northwest Iowa town in 1981.

“The first couple weeks it was crazy because everyone in a small town is going to try the new restaurant out,” Groeneweg said.

The pizza place racked up just over $8,000 in sales in one month.

“When I talk to people, especially new franchisees, and tell them in a whole month we did $8,200, they look at me like, ‘Oh, my goodness,’ because that’s probably an average day at most places today versus a whole month,” Groeneweg said.

A few years later, a second Pizza Ranch opened in Orange City.

Then came the first franchise in Mountain Lake, Minnesota.

The plan in the early days was to cater to smaller communities.

“Back then, these towns were begging for anyone to come to town. They would almost give you a building on main street for free if you would use it. Man, just one after another, it was crazy times,” Groeneweg said.

Of course, there have been lessons learned along the way, too.

Groeneweg says Pizza Ranch made big jumps to California and Florida decades ago, but they didn’t pan out.

“There’s not one in California today and there’s not one in Florida today,” Groeneweg said.

You will find more than 200 stores in more than a dozen states.

“We’re looking at Texas, Arizona right now. We got one open in the Nashville area, and second location coming up pretty quick there,” Groeneweg said.

The number one location is the Pizza Ranch on 41st street in Sioux Falls.

Mike Pharis worked at the location as a high schooler, and today is a co-owner and the general manager.

“I think we can seat over 400 people in this restaurant, and we need all the seats every once in a while,” Pharis said.

The location on 41st street is also home to the first FunZone Arcade.

Now it is a part of every new Pizza Ranch,” Pharis said.

Different generations have come to know the flavors of Pizza Ranch.

Hull mayor, Arlan Moss, and his wife aren’t the only ones in their family who enjoy an outing to the local restaurant.

“We’ve got grandchildren and they come and say, ‘Let’s go to the ranch.’ They love going to the ranch,” Moss said.

Many more families will experience the ranch in the years to come.

Groeneweg says he has three sons who can take over some day, but he has a goal he wants to reach before he hands over the reins.

“I told people I’ll retire when we hit 500 stores, so if they want to get rid of me, we better hurry up and get to that point. But if they want me around for a long time…but 500 is my goal,” Groeneweg said.

They’ll use their recipe for success to get there.

Groeneweg says the restaurant’s most popular pizza is the Stampede, which has different meats, olives, mushrooms, and more.