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Heart of Utah: Pizza shop owner goes viral and gives back

The owner of a pizza place in Layton thought he would have to close this month, but after a video went viral on social media, demand is higher than ever. And now the shop is giving back to other small businesses through their new success.

One Dude’s Pizza goes viral

One Dude’s Pizza Co. was the dream of Alex Peterson. But in early January he realized he just couldn’t pay the bills. He posted a message to his die-hard customers on Facebook to break the news. And they turned out in force.

Overwhelmed by their generosity and support, he then posted a tearful video thanking the community.

That simple pizza shop owner’s video went viral.

“We have had someone from Canada comment on one of my posts saying, ‘I’m all the way up in Canada but I feel for you.’ Everyone’s seen it. I think I think about 160,000 people have seen me cry now on the Internet,” Peterson told KSL NewsRadio.

Now he’s busy non-stop, getting constant messages on his phone, and multiple requests for pizza orders. He hired two more people to help.

Their website says they are booked out at an average of a pizza every 3 minutes this week. A couple of people donated fridges for them to store more ingredients and they could fill more orders.

Pizza pizzazz and helping others

Peterson wanted One Dude’s Pizza Co. to be different. They have traditional pizzas, but also toppings include nachos, biscuits and gravy, Pico, and crazy corn. They try out a flavor of the month, and popular flavors move to the regular menu.

Peterson said he always wanted to use his business to help others. A dollar from every pizza sold goes to their charity of the month. 20 percent of gift cards sold goes to a small business fund.

“So that some of those small businesses like us who haven’t been in business long enough or just can’t qualify for the traditional government grants,” he said. “I’ll take 20% from my profits on pizzas in future if it means I can help someone else who’s in the same situation I am in now.”

Peterson says in the end, people are so good.

“People are leaving us notes on our receipts when they’re printing off the computer, and I don’t think people realize how much that means to us,” he said. “My wife is telling me I need to stop crying. I still tear up, but I’m starting to get to the point where I don’t cry every time I talk about it.”

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