By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
The company rule was Dan Hughes couldn’t date an employee.
But dating a fellow manager? There was no rule at Figaro’s Pizza against that.
Dan and Nikki Hughes, owners of the Figaro’s Pizza at 5460 River Road N in Keizer plus one in Salem and another in McMinnville, were recently named 2013 Franchise Owners of the Year for Figaro’s.
But their story starts earlier.
Dan started working at Figaro’s in May 1990. By the summer of 1995 he was a manager for Jim and Paula Newman, who owned several successful Figaro’s stores.
Nikki, who had been working at the Figaro’s on Lancaster Drive in Salem, was promoted to a management position by Jim Newman. Dan was asked to train Nikki starting that August.
“We just hit it off,” Nikki said. “He asked me out by the end of September.”
Before asking Nikki out, however, Dan had to make sure it was permissible with the Newmans.
“The inner company policy is you don’t date employees,” Dan said. “She was a fellow manager, so that was different. But I had to make sure I could do it.”
The two were engaged in May 1996 and married that November.
“It was a good 15 months,” Dan said with a chuckle. “I had asked (the Newmans) if it was all okay. They were happy for us. They knew it was a good fit.”
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