Brand-new Domino’s opening soon in east Wilson

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In less than a week, the Wilson franchise of Domino’s will be doubling its delivery territory with the soft opening of a new location on the east side of town.

“This is the new design with a theater-style store where kids or adults can watch our dough show and our make line,” said Domino’s franchisee Terri Gray, who owns the Raleigh Road Parkway store with her husband Tracy.

Construction began in the fall on the 1,800 square-foot store that will employ about 30 people. Gray said the couple had set out to build a second store around 2009, buying property on Ward Boulevard near Corbett Avenue. That project fell through when medical expenses were compounded by the recession.

“Domino’s pretty much requires us to open up another location because of our sales — that are usually second in the three-state region — and the capacity for doing delivery,” she said. “This new store will open up just about all of Wilson from (Bridgestone), nearly to Bailey, down to Interstate 795 and out toward U.S. 264, so we’re doubling our delivery zone.”

In addition to the open kitchen to allow customers to watch Domino’s pizzas, pastas and wings being made, the Ward Boulevard location will have a few tables and a drive-thru window for customers to pick up call-ahead or online orders.

“I feel like Domino’s is very innovative because they change things often to make it better,” she said. “We’ve had great success since they’ve changed our sauce and they’ve changed our types of crust. And our wings are the best wings out there because they are crispy and not just loaded down with sauce.”

And the Grays have seen much of the changes firsthand with Tracy Gray working as a delivery driver in 1982 before moving to Georgia where he met Terri, who would take orders over the phone.

“When I started in Domino’s in 1983, we had two sizes — large and medium — for pizza with 10 toppings on our menu. We had Coca-Cola and Sprite and maybe some kind of bread, but it was very minimal,” she said, noting their menu now includes gluten-free pizza in multiple sizes, pasta, salads, side items and desserts.

The Grays’ first franchise was in Oregon, but it did not go well and they sold it before heading back east. They moved to Wilson in 1986, purchased a franchise near the mall around 1990 and moved the store to Raleigh Road Parkway in 1992.

Applications are being accepted at the Raleigh Road Parkway location for jobs at the new store, particularly for delivery drivers.

“Domino’s can be a high-stress job, but our employees are excellent. It takes a strong individual to work for Domino’s, especially at a store this busy,” she said. “And customer service is really important, so if something is wrong, let us know and we’ll do everything we can to make it right.

“That has been our main philosophy since we went into business.”

Terri Gray said she’s optimistic the store will be open for business on Monday. To reach the Ward Boulevard store, call 252-674-1555.

Stylists Start Salon

Looking for a new hair salon? Four friends and stylists are opening for business Thursday and hosting an open house/Christmas party to celebrate the occasion.

Deep Roots Salon is opening at 2801 Ward Blvd. Suite 3G in Brentwood with four stylists, owner Atlanta Wills, Abi El-Ramey, Lola Jenkins and Candace Dilda. And the salon reflects their unique personalities with antique dressers and mirrors serving as the stylists’ stations, a wall adorned with wood from a barn in Wills’ yard and a nearly 200-year-old church pew.

“We’re a rustic, glam salon,” Wills said. “There are no other salons like this in Wilson.”

Services will include haircuts for women, men and children along with color services. Wills said the stylists also do balayage — which are hand-painted highlights — and waxing. Customers can view a full list of services and schedule appointments online at tinyurl.com/y7nyjoq3.

From 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, the salon will have an open house with giveaways and raffles.

Extra! Extra!

During a Tuesday morning meeting, Wilson Economic Development Council members heard from NCEast Alliance president John Chaffee. He said the economic development corporation’s focus is on marketing, advocacy and workforce development for 28 counties in eastern North Carolina.

“Our sweet spot is small to medium-size privately held companies, where we’re dealing with the managing director for the company or someone from the senior level,” Chaffee said. “...We’d call those gazelles because they are small now, but in the position with technology and leadership to achieve growth.”

Since late 2014, the NCEast Alliance has spurred 20 companies to visit Wilson County, including four that picked Wilson to locate or expand. Chaffee noted that four of the visits have been by a Canadian sweet potato fry manufacturer with a fifth visit scheduled early next year.

“It is a $40 million project with 125 employees to start and Wilson County is one of the contenders,” he said. “It was a $20 million project, but they’ve seen improved efficiency and decreased waste, so that improved the project for us.”

Wilson and Vollis Simpson’s whirligigs are the cover story for the NCEast Alliance’s annual magazine that is distributed to site selectors and companies around the globe.

In addition to reviewing year-to-date expenses and the 2018 meeting schedule for the council, Executive Director Jennifer Lantz said the infrastructure for the first phase of the Campus at 587 is set to be complete in January with signs at the industrial park going up soon after.

Got an idea for news to include in next week’s Main Street Minute? Don’t hesitate to reach out to me at 252-265-7821 or bhandgraaf@wilsontimes.com.