Chris Conneen
Chris Conneen – Pizza Gallery & Grill

It was back in 1989 that Chris Conneen, then 21 years old, started his business Pizza Gallery & Grill in Melbourne, after having what he describes as an “entrepreneurial seizure.” Already rising through the ranks of Domino’s Pizza, he recalls, “The switch sort of flipped for me and I asked myself, ‘Why am I giving them my profits when I could keep those profits for myself?’” It was also his desire to combine his love for great food and great food environments with a passion for art, which has grown into one of the most unique and enjoyed destinations located in The Avenue in Viera.

“I have found that vision is even more important than your business plan.  I have learned to immerse myself in the vision- writing process, not only what we want to do, but what will it look like, what will it feel like, what will other people’s experiences be when they encounter it? Now, my business plan comes out of the vision.”

Beyond his marquee restaurant and other entrepreneurial ventures, Conneen has also honed a commitment to giving back to the community into a fine art. Rarely does a week go by that Pizza Gallery & Grill is either the location or the staging area for a charitable event which not only supports the organizations that enrich our community, but also gives hundreds of people, of all ages, the opportunity to become involved themselves.

This article appears in the December 2014 issue of SpaceCoast Business.
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