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Meet Efrem Yates of Your Pie

Today we’d like to introduce you to Efrem Yates.

Hi Efrem, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My journey to entrepreneurship started young. I come from a family of entrepreneurs but went the traditional route first. Being raised by a single mother in Kinston, NC, I attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and went into retail and sales, working for companies such as CarMax before becoming an assistant buyer and managing the high-end jewelry department at Neiman Marcus. I spent the latter part of my career in allocations and planning for Pier 1 Imports and other well-known luxury retailers.

After spending years not seeing the pay raises and promotions that I’d worked for, I invested my savings into entrepreneurship. I was inspired by former NBA player Junior Bridgeman’s success with a large Ohio-based fast-food chain and decided to franchise with Your Pie – a national, fast-casual pizza restaurant with roots in Georgia.

I opened my first location in November 2019, taking over the Cary location right before the COVID-19 pandemic began. We’ve been fortunate during the pandemic as we opened our second location in July 2020 in Raleigh and our third in Durham Brier Creek in March.

In addition to being a restaurant owner, I’m also a photographer and enjoy taking photos in my spare time when I have it.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I always say that smooth seas do not make skillful sailors. It’s an old adage, but it is certainly true in the restaurant industry. I never expected that within months of opening my very first restaurant and leaving a corporate career that I would see the world change.

However, nothing has been more rewarding than knowing that you’re in control of your destiny and having the opportunity to give back while doing it. I’ve not only been able to serve pizza in our community, but we’ve also spent countless hours donating time and money back into the community. One of our major partnerships has been with WakeMed and also with the Boys and Girls Club – which was instrumental during my time growing up.

My work with Your Pie has been broadly featured into the media including Forbes, Inc. Magazine, the Triangle Tribune, WRAL, WTVD and Triangle Business Journal among others.

We’ve been impressed with Your Pie, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am a full-time owner and operator of three Your Pie Pizza restaurants throughout the Triangle. We will own 10 locations before the end of our development cycle, and we’re looking to expand throughout the state.

As a family man, I was also inspired in part by my daughter who – quite frankly – loved the pizza from the restaurant. As I continued to explore the franchise route as a path to financial freedom and wealth in entrepreneurship, it was definitely top of mind. It was so top of mind that I purchased the Cary location with the support of my wife, who was also working heavily on her Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Your Pie is specifically interesting as it’s based in nearby Georgia and uses only fresh ingredients, homemade pizza sauces and salad dressings, and offers vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free pizzas, as well as traditional pizzas. While there are similar concepts in the market, Your Pie certainly is the best.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
I inherited the entrepreneurial gene from my dad for sure. Certainly, my mother and my wife deserve credit as well. My mother sacrificed so much to bring me up in Kinston, encouraging me to invest in my education and career. Without her, there would be no Efrem Yates. I also am so grateful for my wife, who sees me after the hard days and continues to encourage me. She is my constant cheerleader and she supports me even while being a full-time student herself and gave me the push I needed to step out on faith. My daughter has also been a major cheerleader because the legacy I’m building today is for her.


  • Our entrée prices are $8.49 and guests may choose any topping they wish as we do not charge per topping.

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Image Credits
Brandon Grate

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