(Photo by Christine Terpening: Co-owners, Justin Suntken on the left and Magnus Carney on the right.)
When two fifteen-year-old buddies from high school dreamed of being business owners together, they weren’t just dreaming, they were planning. Though life took Justin Suntken and Magnus Carney down different paths for many years after graduation from Maple Valley High School in 2007, life also brought them back together to make dreams come true as co-owners of Buddy Ro’s Pizza in Potterville. The pair took ownership in December of 2022.
Buddy Ro’s pizza is made from locally sourced Michigan ingredients and vegetables when in season. “Honestly, the pizza speaks for itself,” said Suntken, “It’s just a good quality pizza. We use fresh toppings and fresh mushrooms.” The pair offer traditional favorite toppings as well as meat lovers, cauliflower crust and keto bowls with their sights set on steady, slow growth to ensure Potterville has a business with longevity.
Suntken and Carney are a powerhouse of restaurateurs who are mindful of bringing something new and of quality to Potterville. While pizza is their main dish, they have plans to bring an extended menu to the area that showcases more than just their pizza prowess.
Both Carney and Suntken have impressive experience and training in the restaurant industry. Suntken’s family owned the Outboard Bar in Nashville for 40 years. Upon its closing he took his services to the Maple Leaf Inn in Vermontville where he has worked for ten years, having managed the business for the last four. “I come from a large family so I’ve been cooking for as long as I can remember. It’s something I thoroughly enjoy,” said Suntken.
Carney spent time in China learning from a mentor in fine dining. That opportunity led to the chance to attend the Culinary Institute of America in High Park, New York. He then interned at Topolobampo in Chicago. He has since gained experience as a barista, a butcher and as a sous-chef. “The first time I stepped into the kitchen, I thought, “Well, this is home,’” Carney stated, “Every pizza I make gets the Chef’s kiss,” in what Carney calls a “Ratatouille moment” over their exquisitely made pizza. Carney and Suntken care that much about the product they serve. “People are loving our pizza and we’re here for it,” Carney said proudly.
Buddy Ro’s seriously delicious pizza is a must-try that will keep you coming back for more. And there is always room for ice cream and Buddy Ro’s serves hand dipped Moo-ville ice cream in their commitment to supporting local businesses and farmers.
“We are putting out consistently good pizza. We want to grow. If you think our pizza is great, just wait, we’ll show you what we can do,” said Carney. Suntken added, “We appreciate the support we’ve been getting. We really want to extend our menu and give Potterville something it’s been needing.”
Buddy Ro’s offers dine-in, patio dining, take-out and delivery. They are located at 125 Lansing Road in Potterville and open Tuesday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. and closed on Mondays. Order your favorite pizza at (517)645-2222.