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Epicuriad Chef Spotlight – Chef Aaron Pool

Aaron Pool


Gadzooks Enchiladas & Soups


Aaron Pool, owner of the popular Gadzooks Enchiladas & Soup (3313 N 7th St. and 4031 E. Camelback Rd.) in Phoenix, can pinpoint the exact moment seven years ago when his life changed forever. The Arizona native and then-ASU student was on a family vacation in Lake Tahoe, eating his mother’s beloved chicken enchiladas recipe when he had an “ah-ha moment – a fast casual enchilada restaurant where everything was fresh-made to order on an assembly line.”


Pool graduated from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University in 2009 and spent the next few years in his mom’s central Phoenix kitchen hashing out recipes and mapping out his business plan.


Then, it was time to figure out a quick cooking method, find a building, design the restaurant, and convince a bank to loan money to a 20-something with a dream and a silly-sounding business name, but no restaurant experience. He did just that by winning over officers at Pinnacle Bank, where he received a U.S. Small Business Administration loan.


Since opening in the original 7th Street location in April 2013, Gadzooks has received rave reviews and lines stretched out the door for its unique, infinitely-customizable menu of enchiladas, salads and soups. Aaron and Gadzooks is planning to expand in the coming months with a new location in Tempe.