The Mid-South may be known for catfish and barbecue, but Oxford appears to be all about pizza. In a town in 22,314, according to the latest census, there are 16 restaurants that serve pizza, or about 7.17 pizza places per 10,000 residents.
And that number doesn’t take into account grocery stores and service stations, several of which also serve cooked and uncooked pizzas, nor does it factor in pizza spots on the Ole Miss campus.
Google Trends shows that searches for pizza in Mississippi have steadily increased in the state since 2004, when data was first collected. It is also interestingly a much more popular query than catfish or barbecue.
According to real-estate blog Estately, Mississippi is 49th in the nation in pizza restaurants per capita, which makes Oxford an anomaly. That may be why Oxford is also the home of PMQ Pizza Magazine, which calls itself “the pizza industry’s #1 magazine and website.”
Dalton Dennison of Landshark Delivery says that the service delivers for five pizza restaurants, which account for about 400 deliveries a week.
“That’s essentially one whole day worth of deliveries of just pizza,” Dennison said, “and most people order at least two.”
Drew Daigle, an employee of Square Pizza, has made “everything from your basic delivery frozen-dough-discs, to New York style, to our Ohio style dough” and says he considers himself a pizza expert. He came to work at Square Pizza nearly two years ago after stints at nearby Funky’s Pizza and Daiquri Bar, and at a Pizza Hut in Brentwood, Tennessee.
While Daigle won’t say that the pizza business is easy, he does believe that the straightforwardness of the product compared to other types of cuisine makes it very appealing for someone who might want to start a restaurant.
“It just a simple food,” Daigle said. “The most expensive thing that you’re buying is the cheese, other than that, you’re paying for tomato, flour and yeast.”
Daigle, a recent Ole Miss grad with degrees in French and computer science, said that he would consider staying in the business in the future, hoping to start or franchise his own store after gaining so much experience at places in Oxford.
“Have you ever heard anyone say ‘I hate pizza’? That doesn’t happen very often.”
PIZZA RESTAURANTS IN OXFORD:
- 6 n Tubbs – 2625 W Oxford Loop D (662) 563-6562
- Dodo Pizza – 614 Jackson Ave E (662) 638-3555
- Dominos – 1603 Jackson Ave W (662) 236-3030
- Funky’s Pizza and Daiquiri Bar – 1012 E Jackson Ave (662) 259-2881
- Fergndan’s Wood Fired Pizza – 14 CR 307 (662) 801-7582
- Little Caesars – 1725 University Ave (662) 234-7878
- Newk’s – 1309 University Ave (662) 513-5303
- Newk’s – 2305 Jackson Ave W #217 (662) 238-2727
- Old Venice Pizza Co. – 1112 Van Buren Ave (662) 236-6872
- Papa John’s – 1506 Jackson Ave W (662) 234-8648
- Pizza Den – 499 Heritage Drive (662) 234-5537
- Pizza Hut – 1506 University Ave (662) 236-2005
- Proud Larry’s – 211 S Lamar Blvd (662) 236-0050
- Saint Leo – 1101 E Jackson Ave (662) 380-5141
- Soulshine Pizza Factory – 308 S Lamar Blvd (662) 533-7685
- Square Pizza – 1101 Van Buren Ave (662) 234-9333
Bonus: Service Stations serving Hunt Brothers Pizza
- Oxford Spot – 1438 N Lamar Blvd (662) 281-1397
- Ward’s Short Stop – 2502 Old Taylor Rd (662) 234-0640
- Little John’s Quick Mart – 03 CR 215 (662) 236-5737
Story contributed by Meek School of Journalism & New Media student John West, firstname.lastname@example.org.