Kyle Perez leans on the counter at Carelli’s Pizzeria & Pasta during a short break in between customers. Perez, 19, makes sandwiches for the restaurant and also works as a night shift manager. He is also an avid skateboarder in his spare time. His mother, Stephanie, and her fiancé, Brett Etzler, bought the business in December 2010.

Photo by Andy Bockelman

Kyle Perez leans on the counter at Carelli’s Pizzeria & Pasta during a short break in between customers. Perez, 19, makes sandwiches for the restaurant and also works as a night shift manager. He is also an avid skateboarder in his spare time. His mother, Stephanie, and her fiancé, Brett Etzler, bought the business in December 2010.

‘Don’t let anything in life pass you by’: Five minutes with Kyle Perez, 19, employee at Carelli’s Pizzeria & Pasta

Motto or outlook on life?

“Don’t let anything in life pass you by.”

When did you first get started in your job?

“It was about December 2010 when my mom first bought (the restaurant).”

Favorite part of your job?

“I’ve always wanted to work here since I was a little kid. I’m into skateboarding and this was always the cool place to be, with all the extreme sports stuff on the walls and everything. I always wanted to be a pizza guy, and then when my mom told me they were taking over, it was a dream come true. Learning to make pizzas, it’s kind of like an art form.”

Favorite outdoor activity?

“I love skateboarding. Ever since I was a little kid, it’s been my passion. I skated for about five years, then I quit for about a year, and I’ve just now started to get my wheels back.”

Favorite part of life in Northwest Colorado?

“It’s Colorado, you gotta love it. I love snowboarding and being an hour away from a resort is pretty nice.”

Least favorite part?

“It’s a smaller town, so there’s no skate park. That’s kind of a bummer. They used to have one, but they ripped out the half-pipes and put in two quarter-pipes that aren’t even the same height, so when you hit it, one’s slow and one’s steep. I actually tried signing up Craig for the Colorado Lottery because they sponsor a lot of skate parks, like they did Rifle and Steamboat, but that never went anywhere.”

Favorite meal from a local restaurant?

“Here, I like the Steak Carelli’s with the crab meat and béarnaise sauce. It’s like surf ‘n’ turf in one little steak. At J.W. Snack’s I like their beef brisket sandwich, too.”

Song on your iPod you could listen to 1,000 times?

“It’s by Rusko, and it’s called ‘Love No More.’ I just saw him in Denver for 4/20, and it was a crazy show. His newest album has a little bit of reggae, which I like, but the majority of his music is dance stuff.”

Movie or TV show you consider a guilty pleasure?

“‘Trailer Park Boys,’ it’s hilarious. They’ve got all the seasons on Netflix, so my girlfriend and I have been watching them nonstop.”

Sports team you follow closest?

“Denver Broncos, Peyton Manning. It’ll be fun seeing him play, I think he’ll do really good in Denver. All we need is an offense, we have the defense.”

Favorite unusual pizza topping?

“I really like the chicken alfredo pizza we have, it’s got alfredo sauce instead of regular pizza sauce.”

Proudest accomplishment?

“Probably graduating high school, since I’m pretty young.”

Most embarrassing moment?

“Just messing up at work, because you’re right out in front of everyone and they’re watching you. If you drop a pie on the ground or knock a pile of boxes on your head, everybody laughs. I always turn really red, too.”

One thing you want to tell your mom on Mother’s Day?

“It was just me and her for a little while, so I’d want to let her know how much I appreciate what she gave up for me.”

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