Marco’s Pizza, which opened in May, has created several new job opportunities for Troy students.
All current employees of the recently opened Marco’s pizza in the Publix Plaza are university students, according to Kalob Yanez, a computer science graduate student from Donalsonville, Georgia.
Hungry Howie’s, another pizza store in Troy, closed down shortly before Marco’s May arrival.
According to Lily Goodson, a senior graphic design major from Andalusia and a current delivery driver at Marco’s, both she and Hunter Williams, a junior theater major from Valley, were previously employed at Hungry Howie’s.
“We had a store meeting that Howie’s in Troy was going to close down, so a lot of us started looking for new jobs,” said Goodson.
Williams said that Hungry Howie’s closed because it was no longer financially sustainable.
Williams is currently the general manager at Marco’s and he recruited two other former Hungry Howie’s employees to join Marco’s.
Since working at Marco’s, Goodson has observed a steady increase of pizza deliveries.
“I’m actually seeing our customer base grow over the summer because, you know, you can do deliveries here and there, but yesterday we were so busy … on a Sunday,” Godson said. “Because we are usually not busy on Sundays, and then we were just slammed.”
According to Thomas Russell, a part-owner of the store, the main competitors the brand faces in every town are Papa John’s and Dominos, but he is certain that the brand can compete with the five major pizza places in Troy.
“We’re very secure in our brand,” Russell said. “I mean, we’ve done it in other locations—that had more locations than that—that we compete with.
“People have different taste, but we believe—which is why we got in the brand—that we have the best pizza, so we basically have the excellent value for the quality product that we offer.”
Marco’s sets itself apart from the 26 pizza brands in America as the only one founded by a native Italian, Pat Giammarco.
“The company stands out from big players with fresh dough made daily in every store; an exclusive blend of fresh, never frozen cheeses; and a secret pizza sauce recipe created by the founder,” said Rudy Villafane, the account coordinator, in a press release.
Nine years after Russell and his business partners, Grady Lee and Corky Corcoran, opened their first location in 2008, Marco’s Pizza chain was named “consumer’s favorite pizza chain” by a Market Force survey of 2017.
Marco’s in Troy is the seventh location opened by the team, with this being their first location in a college town.
U.S. Census Bureau’s estimated statistics for 2016 placed Troy as the 21st fastest growing city in Alabama, with 19,191 residents and a 6.2% population growth from 2010.
Rising main campus enrollment adds approximately 8,000 people to the consumer market for the duration of the academic year.
There are currently over 800 Marco’s stores in over 30 states and 4 countries, according to the company’s website.
Zach Lane, a junior broadcast journalism major from Tallahassee, Florida, who was previously employed at Marco’s in his hometown, said he was not initially a fan of Marco’s pizza.
“When I first had it, when they first opened their store (in Tallahassee), I was actually not that crazy about it, but when I’ve been working there for a little while and actually got to try all their different pizza, I actually came to like it a lot,” Lane said.
Marco’s pizza is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays, from 11 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday and from noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday.