The North Bend Eagle


Gambino's Pizza changes hands

by Nathan Arneal
Published 1/4/17

Don’t worry. They’ll still be slingin’ pizza pies on Main Street.

Gambino’s Pizza has been serving North Bend Italian fare since Ed and Jan Gray opened the business at 7th and Main in 1995.

After 21 years of lunch buffets, cheap pizza Mondays and meat cravers, the Grays decided to retire from the restaurant business and put Gambino’s up for sale with a couple of goals in mind.

Gambino's Pizza North BendDoug Sheppard, left, and Kevin Lundholm are the new owners of the North Bend Gambino's Pizza. Ed and Jan Gray sold the business after 21 years of operating the restaurant.

“No. 1, Jan was ready to retire from the store,” Ed Gray said. “The second thing was we wanted to keep the store open. We had a timeline for retirement, and we wanted to try to match that up with keeping the store open, too.”

As that timeline played out and the retirement date crept closer, it looked like the Grays might be closing the restaurant down instead of passing it on.

Enter Kevin Lundholm and Doug Sheppard of Fremont, owners of the Gambino’s Pizza/Hero Deli in the Parkview Plaza on Military Avenue.

“This came up really quick,” Lundholm said. “We heard about it on a Sunday night. Ed and Jan were wanting to retire and she was going to close the doors if she didn’t sell it. So within about five days we made things happen.”

All parties involved say the transition in ownership went smoothly. Lundholm and Sheppard took over the North Bend store in mid-December.

Ed Gray said it was a perfect fit to keep the restaurant open and find people with experience to take it over.

“Kevin Lundholm knows people in the community,” Gray said. “Their pizza place is just a few miles away, really. It was a perfect situation.”

The new ownership kept all of the Grays’ employees on.

“We couldn’t have done this without the help of the previous employees,” Sheppard said. “We kept all the employees. They’re awesome. From the high school help to the adults, it’s been a very smooth transition.”

Sheppard and his wife Jody are elementary school teachers in Fremont. Lundholm, who also lives in Fremont with his wife, Amy, is the full-time pizza man.

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