Ryan Cameron, Erica Barrett open ‘game changer’ Dough Boy Pizza
Ryan Cameron and Erica Barrett worked together to bring pizza franchise to Atlanta metro area
DECATUR, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Prominent Atlanta radio personality and philanthropist Ryan Cameron and chef and restaurant chain owner Erica Barrett are excited they joined forces to expand the “Dough Boy Pizza” franchise to the Atlanta metro area.
Dough Boy Pizza is a Neapolitan-style pizza, with other delicious menu items, according to Cameron and Barrett. The Atlanta metro location is the 11th franchise to open across the United States.
Cameron said working with Barrett and opening up the first franchise for Atlanta was a no-brainer.
“I was down in Birmingham, Al with Erica at one of her restaurants and she showed me this dynamic pizza concept. It was this smart kitchen with pizzas ready and they were absolutely delicious,” said Cameron. “She said there might be some franchise opportunities and I told her I was looking for something to expand my brand to things other than philanthropic and radio. We thought there might be some synergy there. She liked me enough to give me the opportunity to open the first franchise in Atlanta. Once I tasted the pizza and the opportunity was there, I did not look back.”
Barrett says one of the most volatile things in the restaurant industry today is finding good labor and thought of a new, dynamic concept. She decided to open self-ordering and contactless and cashless kiosks.
“We decided to find a solution where we import our crust from Italy. All of our crust is made in Italy. It’s authentic, it’s consistent and we’re still able to make great pies with that consistency and the best ingredients,” said Barrett. “We’re highly efficient because we build our pizzas in small spaces. We also wanted a concept that was very easy to build out and pizza is something that is recession-proof. It sells itself. We’re dedicated to this brand.”
The Birmingham location is only 150 sq. feet, while the Atlanta area restaurant is 450 sq. feet.
The location of Doughboys Pizza had been dormant for the past six years, according to Cameron.
Barrett and Cameron originally wanted to open the franchise around December 2022 and then January, but they decided to open on Feb. 9. The opening date was during Black History Month and National Pizza Day.
“The job isn’t hard, it is really fun,” said Barrett. “If you want to do something in the food industry then you’ve got to be different. How many restaurants are literally out there that you can go to every day? You have to think of what makes you stand out.”
“Erica had to remind me that we were making black history and the response from the people in this mall has been overwhelmingly positive because not only are they supporting black business, they’re also supporting my brand and Erica’s brand,” said Cameron. “Sometimes, if you’ve been doing something as long as I have, you forget when it was the first thing you accomplished. This was like a full-circle moment. For it to happen during Black History Month, I couldn’t have chosen a better time. This is a game-changer in this location and this mall. There are people coming to this mall who haven’t been here for 20-30 years. I had a conversation with a man in his 60s who recently said when it first opened it was segregated. It is quite an accomplishment to open [the restaurant] in the mall that when it first opened in the 60′s, black people were not allowed to go inside.”
Cameron is the voice of America, having trademarked the title given to him by Atlanta Magazine.
He’s won two local Emmy Awards, been nominated for two National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Radio Awards is a member of the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame.
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