Since Valentine’s Day is, after all, a time that brings to mind love, caring and special relationships, it seems appropriate to take a look at a love story that really has sizzle. It’s one that has roots from high school and has matured and grown into a partnership of not only true love but a unique business relationship as well.
When Gary Myers and Sally Williams attended Torrance High School back in the early 70’s, they clearly had their eye on one another, yet at the time had no idea that their future was going to turn into a life-long love affair.
Sally is the daughter of a successful restaurant family. Her parents, Jack and Linda Williams are known in the Temecula Valley with their Richie’s Real American Diner restaurants. While Sally was in high school and college, her parents were Sizzler restaurant franchisees. Gary is an identical twin whose parents taught their five children the value of having a strong work ethic. Gary learned the art of goal setting and accomplishing his ambitions. As time would soon tell, Sally Williams was one of those lifetime objectives.
After high school, Gary and Sally attended college hundreds of miles apart from each other. Sally attended the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and Gary attended El Camino College and transferred to Long Beach State to study business. Eventually, Sally decided to return home and graduated from Pepperdine University in Malibu. One of Sally’s greatest memories of being away at college in Alabama was a stunning poster of a beach sunset that Gary sent her. It was about 2’ by 3’ and filled corner to corner with an inspirational love letter. The crazy thing was that he wrote so small that it took hours for her to read it. “It was the nicest letter ever written to me and I loved it” she said.
As Gary continued his college studies and moved up in management in the grocery business, Sally enjoyed being a cheerleader at Pepperdine. Sally was caught off guard on a fall afternoon when Gary showed up and proposed in front of the entire Pepperdine Cheerleading Squad. Her answer was an enthusiastic “YES”. They were married in May 1977.
After a few months of marriage, Sally’s father encouraged Gary to join his Sizzler restaurant company. The hospitality business was the perfect fit for Gary, and he quickly became one of his father-in-law’s most committed and successful managers. Sally also joined her father’s organization and became their Community Relations Coordinator. Sally and Gary assisted her father in opening about 30 of his 36 Sizzler restaurants in Southern California. Sally’s parents eventually retired from Sizzler and founded Richie’s Real American Diner 26 years ago.
Today, Gary and Sally have their own Sizzler franchise where they operate 23 Sizzler restaurants from San Diego to the Sacramento area. Their first Sizzler was opened in November of 1983 in Temecula where they proudly call home.
They became a licensee of Richie’s Diner in Rancho Cucamonga in 2007 and enjoy being involved in this original concept founded by Sally’s parents . While their three children attended college at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, Gary and Sally fell in love with Texas Roadhouse. After several years, they were instrumental in bringing this great concept to the Southern California communities of Menifee and Corona as a strategic joint venture partner. It’s evident that Sally’s parents have been strong mentors in their lives where they all receive great satisfaction and pleasure by serving great food to their great guests. This heart of service is the living legend to their family.
Temecula has been such a blessing to the Myers. It’s the town of their early family beginnings, where their family business started, established countless relationships with their guests, including church fellowship and longtime friendships. Gary and Sally have three grown children who attended Calvary Chapel Christian School in Murrieta and the Linfield Christian School in Temecula. Bryce, their oldest child, works in the hospitality business with his consulting company, Legendary Restaurants, Inc. as a real estate broker, developer and advisor to the family business. Their daughter Brenna is Manager of Special Events at Estancia Resort & Spa in La Jolla, and their daughter Britney is a teacher at Lakeland Christian School in Louisville, TX. They have four adorable grandchildren that love camping and jeeping with their Papa and Nana.
As the Myers look back at nearly 41 years of marriage, family and business, their lives truly turned into a love story titled “A Marriage Made to Sizzle.”