Edmond can add another win to its list of credits with the opening of Donatos Pizza – the first Oklahoma location for the renowned, 60-year-old, multi-state brand. Celebrated for their famous edge-to-edge toppings on every pizza, premium cheese and 100 slices of family recipe pepperoni on every large, thin crust pepperoni pizza, Donatos is committed to their saying: “Every piece is important.”
Edmond natives and brothers, Matt and Will McLain, along with co-franchise partner and industry veteran Pattye Moore, debuted the fast-casual pizza shop on Bryant Avenue on August 15. As sons of the former Sonic Drive-In President Scott McLain, Will and Matt grew up around the restaurant industry but didn’t necessarily have plans to follow that career path. “We only knew we wanted to work together and be business owners in Edmond,“ Will says. Thanks to longtime family friend and former Sonic President, Pattye, that business goal took shape in the form of pizza. Pattye became familiar with the Donatos brand when she was the Board Chairman at Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and successfully introduced Donatos Pizza to the Red Robin menu. “I loved the premium quality pizza, the culture of the company and the management team,” Pattye recalls. Knowing Matt and Will were looking for the right business opportunity, Pattye suggested they all partner and bring Donatos to Oklahoma.
Thinking Outside the Box
From its beginning in 1963 when Jim Grote, a sophomore at Ohio State University, bought the Ohio pizza shop he’d worked at since he was 13, Donatos has embraced a distinctive culture of putting people first and giving back to the community. “A big part of this brand is about serving the community through fundraisers, partnerships, volunteering and the Donatos Family Foundation,” Pattye explains. Even the name Donatos – derived from the Latin “to give a good thing” – speaks to the company’s core values. “We are excited to introduce this family-oriented concept with premium pizza to Oklahoma,” Matt comments. “Edmond was the natural choice for the first Oklahoma restaurant. Both Will and I are Edmond Public School graduates and engaging with the schools is a key priority for us.”
All the Donatos menu items are made with love, Matt and Will confess. At first bite, the pizza crust – whether it is their famous golden, crispy thin crust, hand-tossed or gluten-free cauliflower crust – immediately steals the show. “The crust is such an important part of the unique flavor that it is made in Columbus, Ohio at Donatos’ bakery, Jane’s Dough Premium Foods, and delivered to the restaurants,” Will says. The most popular pizzas are the thin crust pepperoni and the Founder’s Favorite, loaded with pepperoni, sausage, shaved ham, banana peppers, smoked Provolone and Romano. Another fan fave is the Hawaiian, generously layered with shaved ham, pineapple, smoked Provolone and an extra crunchy, warm kick with sliced almonds and cinnamon. Also, back by popular demand for a limited time is the Hot Honey Pepperoni Pizza with a sweet heat that is absolutely craveworthy.
Other menu highlights are the family recipe sausage and meatballs, oven-baked subs, Asiago Cheese Bread, Cinnamon Bread and Hot Honey Wings. And for get-togethers, the party cut on thin crust pizzas is perfect for sharing with a crowd.
Visit 1148 S. Bryant in Edmond or donatos.com. Dine in, drive-thru window, delivery and catering available.