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Mushrooms opening more than mellow
W Mellow Mushroom P
     When it comes to restaurants, Statesboro continues to amaze. Three weeks ago, the Mellow Mushroom pizzeria opened in the Market District behind East Georgia Regional Hospital on Bermuda Run Road.
      Even though it opened with positive name recognition, as there had been a Mellow Mushroom operated before in Statesboro by different individuals, the sales performance of the new restaurant has taken many in the restaurant chain's corporate office by surprise.
      "When the folks from corporate came to train our employees just before we opened, they told us there was no way that we could be number one in sales," said Olivia O'Mahoney, co-owner of the restaurant with her husband Brandon O'Mahoney. "They told us that the Raleigh, North Carolina location is always number one, and we just shouldn't expect to unseat them."
      O'Mahoney said she kept telling them that Statesboro is very unusual when it comes to restaurants as local residents and university students alike are very supportive of the restaurant industry.
      "I can't tell you how many people have come in to eat and wish us luck," she said. "Many of our restaurant friends have come in to eat and support us as well. We are so appreciative, I cannot even tell you."
O'Mahoney said being number one in sales last week is really amazing for two reasons. "Statesboro isn't a big city like Raleigh, and also, we purposefully lowered our prices below the price points in other Mellow Mushroom restaurants," she said. "For instance, a slice of pizza in our restaurant is $2 whereas in other Mellow Mushrooms, it is $3. So, we have to have more sales to achieve at the same level as other restaurants in the chain."
      O'Mahoney said her husband is an astute businessman who poured over the books for a week to determine how he could alter the pricing to fit the Statesboro market while giving their restaurant a chance to succeed.
      "Corporate suggested that we not lower the prices, but we aren't in a metropolitan area, and we do have university students that are on a tight budget. We wanted everyone to be able to come here and enjoy what we have to offer. We felt like we needed to adjust the pricing at our franchise to be able to do that. We've already printed menus, and these are our prices."
      What many of you may or may not know is the O'Mahoneys also own Shane's Rib Shack in the same retail shopping area. It is number one in sales in the chain of Shane's Rib Shack restaurants.
      "Our Shane's was number one last year, and continues to be this year," she said. "At least for one week, we will be able to say that both of our restaurants were number one in their respective chains. It makes us so proud to be here in Statesboro. We cannot thank people enough."
      The O'Mahoneys both attended Georgia Southern University and remember when Mellow Mushroom was here before. "Mellow Mushroom is a staple in most college towns across the South," said Brandon O'Mahoney. "We wanted to bring one back to Statesboro because the funky, comfortable atmosphere fits perfectly into the area, and I know the residents have missed the delicious food."