Students who are looking for dining options may be excited to learn that Weir Hall is now home to a branch of Dodo Pizza, a Russian pizza chain whose only U.S. location is in Oxford.
Alena Tikhova, the manager, was very excited to open this branch of the pizza shop on Monday.
“It’s been crazy busy the last two days,” she said. “Of course, we have the store in Oxford, but we were always interested in being on campus and interacting with the students.”
The opportunity came when the Student Union closed down and Ole Miss Campus Dining needed replacement options for students.
“When the Student Union shut down for a couple months or half a year, they were looking for vendors, so here we are,” Tikhova said.
Opening a campus shop is rather tame for the Russian-based pizza company, which has always been about innovation. It was the first-ever pizza company to commercially deliver a pizza by drone. The startup has worked hard to reinvent the way business is done in Russia by making information about the company readily available to the public, including the amount of money it earned per day. The company hoped to bring that to the American market when it opened its shop in Oxford.
According to its website, one thing that makes the pizza shop different is its dedication to real ingredients and fine craftsmanship.
“You can’t make a damn good pizza if you aren’t guided by the right principles,” says the tag under the heading “Principles.”
Dodo uses real ingredients, tries to avoid any added chemicals or preservatives and doesn’t freeze the food. It only has seven options in order to keep things simple; the company also utilizes technology to help customers order and track their pizzas and includes information on their boxes to gain feedback from customers.
Ariel Young, a senior from Laurel, and Aaren Avera, a senior from Meridian, were enjoying slices during a break from their classes. Avera stuck with the classic cheese while Young tried the BBQ chicken. Young was excited to find the on-campus location, saying, “I’ve been ordering their pizza since the store opened in Oxford, and I recommend it to everyone.”
They had been discussing how great another dining choice on campus was; Young added, “They take flex, which as a student, is super helpful.”
Mary Katherine Biggs, a transfer student from Georgia, ordered a slice of pepperoni pizza. “I love Dodo’s. The reason I stopped was because I came into Weir to print a syllabus. I didn’t even know this was here.”
The other two students also thought the location was a good choice.
“The location is convenient,” Avera said.
“I like the location,” Young said. “I just wish there was more space, but I understand options are limited with the Union closed.”
Dodo’s campus menu includes options of cheese, pepperoni, chicken BBQ, the meats, and a daily choice. Students and other customers have the choice to buy a single slice, one slice and a drink, two slices and one drink or two pizzas and two drinks. The prices range from approximately $5 for the single slice to $16 for the two pizza, which is more expensive than other chains but comparable to prices at the main store.
The Weir Hall Dodo will be open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is located in the rear on the first floor.