Lights, Camera, Action!

In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Sundance Film Festival, we highlight a couple of businesses in the Park City area that have been around even longer.

Red Banjo Pizza

Nearly 50 years ago, Mary Lou Toly made a livelihood for her family by opening up a little bar called the Red Banjo Saloon. Little did she know that her family would someday repay her by keeping this local favorite in the family for five generations.

And while the name has changed to the Red Banjo Pizza Parlour and the décor may have been updated slightly, the restaurant has managed to keep much of its charm throughout the years, including the same recipe for their pizza. Their trademark is a lemon slice on their pizzas.

The building was originally constructed in 1900 and in the early days had two entrance doors. One was for men going into the saloon and the other was for the restaurant side where there were tables and booths for the ladies (they weren’t allowed to sit at the bar at the time).

They have since added a large party room in the basement that features flat screens and arcade games for the kids.

David Ireland is married to Mary Lou’s granddaughter, Tana Toly and serves as a Jack-of-All-trades at the restaurant. He attributes most of Red Banjo’s success to Mary Lou’s dedication and hard work. “Mary Lou sunk in all of this hard work to make sure we’ve been able to be successful,” Ireland said. “She did it to make sure that her kids were going to be okay. I think there is really a strong sense of family surrounding this restaurant and there always has been.”

As far as advice for other entrepreneurs out there, Ireland said make sure that you know what you’re getting into. “My wife has been waiting tables here since she was 6-years-old,” he said. “If you don’t know what you’re doing or don’t know what you’re getting into, you’re in for an eye-opening experience. On the upside, at the end of the day, the satisfaction is yours. All of the hard work I put in benefits me, and all those around me. It’s very rewarding.

Burns Saddlery

They say that “Home is Where the Heart Is.” That sentiment rings true for Danna Burns-Shaw. She is the 5th generation owner of Burns Saddlery, the oldest continuously owned western business.

The first owner of Burns Harness Shop, Danna’s great-great-grandfather Miles Lamonie Burns started his business back in 1876 in the small town of Loa, Utah. In 1898, her great-grandfather took the business that was in Loa and moved the business 60 miles to its current location in Salina, Utah. They rolled the business on logs through the rugged mountainous terrain of Utah. A feat unimaginable today.

Danna knew her great-grandparents well as they served as an inspiration to the whole family by working well into their 80’s.

“My great-grandfather was really an exquisite harness maker, Burns-Shaw said. “He stitched everything by hand until about 1920, when he invested in a pedal stitcher. He had 10 different stitchers that worked for him and he would make all of the harnesses in the area.”

Burns-Shaw said the key to the longevity of her family business is that they have always had to create a new line or a new way to sustain themselves in their small town. For example, they started out as a farm and ranch store, carrying necessities, then adapted into the automobile range and now they’ve shifted into the recreational riding realm.

Additionally, Burns Saddlery also now has mobile units that go to various rodeo events from Texas to California.

To help with their marketing, Burns-Shaw enlisted the help of her son, Braden.

“Bringing my son in at a very young age gave us the advantage of incorporating technology,” Burns-Shaw said. “

Her two daughters, Destiny and Tegan also work in the business.

When it comes to doing business, there are certain things that have remained the same over all the years, according to Burns-Shaw. “When I look at it, there’s always change, however; the desire and the ability to create with your mind was always there, Burns-Shaw said. “My fore- fathers had this tenacity to use their mind and just see something and make something out of it. A piece of leather, a piece of canvas, and they were constantly looking. It all starts with a thought and they gave me that. The core is still there, we just keep making it better and better.

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