OGDEN, Utah (ABC4) — The COVID-19 pandemic, inflation and supply chain issues have all had an effect on locally owned businesses in Utah. For One Dude’s Pizza Co. in Ogden, a passionate plea on social media is turning things around.
One Dude’s Pizza Co. has called downtown Ogden home for the last four months. However, after weeks of slow sales, the owner took to social media to encourage his followers to shop locally.
“I’m kind of at a loss for what to do,” said Alex Peterson, the owner of One Dude’s, through choked tears in the video he posted online Tuesday afternoon.
Moments later he added, “We still ended up averaging out to about 10 buys.” The business will need to average 20 buys a day to stay afloat.
That post was shared hundreds of times, and orders poured in like never before. The community’s support has allowed One Dude’s to sell more pizzas over the last few days than had been sold over the last few weeks.
Peterson, also known as The Dude, is the owner, the chef, the waiter, and the main dude at the shop. In short, he does it all.
“It’s just kind of been a rough month,” Peterson said. “I lost my last grandparent in December who was really like a mother to me and was one of my first influences in cooking. To lose her and watch the shop, honestly, just failing… It’s demoralizing, and you keep pushing forward because it’s your dream, and that’s what you fought for.”
The Dude originally opened a shop in Layton back in 2020. However, as the pandemic took off and new health guidelines took effect, Peterson had to close the shop regularly to comply. Not only that but high rent and utility bills made it difficult to stay open when business was a hit or miss.
“So, we closed that shop down in 2021,” Peterson said. “It was going to be a quick little change over from that shop, two weeks closed, to go to this shop here.”
Sadly, his health took a turn for the worse. Two weeks turned into a year. As he improved, the pizza shop became the center of focus once again, and he opened the Ogden location in September 2022.
In his video that he posted to Facebook, The Dude told his followers that he needs to sell 20 to 30 pizzas daily to keep the shop up and running. As more and more people shared that video online, it gained tens of thousands of views within a matter of hours.
“I wasn’t expecting people to come out that crazy for it,” Peterson said. “We ended up selling out that night. I had only prepped 40 pizzas. That’s what I prep for every day in hopes that we have a busy day.”
The support kept coming. On Thursday, hundreds of people called in to place an order. Peterson had to move all orders strictly online to keep up with them. During the hour ABC4 spent at his shop on Friday morning, nearly 10 online orders came in through the register. This was six hours before the business would even be open for the day.
Not only did hundreds of people order pizzas, but Peterson said many of the online orders that come through also include positive messages for him to read.
“I went from probably the darkest I’ve ever felt in my life to the brightest I’ve ever felt in my life,” Peterson said as his voice cracked with gratitude. “Thanks to strangers, and they don’t owe anything to me.”
One Dude’s Pizza Co. has a program in place that donates pizzas to families in need on Christmas Day based on sales. He told ABC4 that with how many pizzas they are currently selling, he is on track to be able to feed 150 families this upcoming Christmas. He also sells t-shirts with the business logo on them, and all proceeds from the shirts go to feeding those in need.