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The Story of D.P. Dough

The beginnings of D.P. Dough can be traced back to Penny Haley’s food truck debut at the 1983 Big E Fair in Springfield, MA. Penny and her son Dan sold calzones (as well as baked potatoes and soup) out of her food truck. Four years later, after witnessing the popularity of his mom’s food truck calzones, Dan had the idea to open a retail and delivery location.  Dan sold calzones (all with unique names ending in Zone) to service the students of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. The restaurant DID NOT SELL PIZZA and was named D.P. Dough after Dan and Penny’s initials.

Penny and Dan

Penny and Dan

While Dan had a passion for creating calzones and making customers happy, he was not focused on building a national restaurant chain or creating systems. During the first twenty-five years of D.P. Dough, new locations were opened by former D.P. Dough employees or customers who had a passion for the product. D.P. Dough restaurants that opened during that time received little opening or operational assistance.  Instead, they operated in essence as independent restaurants, sharing only the name and the calzones-only concept. Many of those restaurants are still open today and operated by the pioneering D.P. Dough owner/operators who founded them.

In 2010, Matt Crumpton, an attorney and (more importantly) Ohio University alum who ate about one-hundred D.P. Dough calzones during his four years in Athens, told his parents (Mark and Kim) about an opportunity to purchase the D.P. Dough location in Athens. Mark had recently retired from his corporate career at Verizon Wireless (where his last position was as a Regional President overseeing all operations in Kansas/Missouri/Southern Illinois) and was looking for a small business opportunity. After owning and operating the Athens location for about six months and seeing the passionate customer following and brand loyalty, the Crumptons began discussions with Dan Haley to purchase the D.P. Dough brand.  Dan was convinced that the Crumptons, with Mark’s executive and leadership background and Matt’s legal and marketing background, were the right people to grow the D.P. Dough brand. Dan sold the D.P. Dough brand to D.P. Dough Franchising (owned primarily by the Crumptons) at the end of 2011.

Mark Crumpton, Dan Haley, and Matt Crumpton.

Mark Crumpton, Dan Haley, and Matt Crumpton.

During the next two years, Mark, Kim, and Matt began the process of building infrastructure for a national franchise system, starting with hiring multi-unit D.P. Dough owner and experienced operator David Schylling as Vice President of Operations and former Buffalo Wild Wings Area General Manager, Dan Harlett, as Director of Operations and Training. The D.P. Dough Franchising team got to work researching best practices, negotiating vendor agreements, developing operational and marketing systems, creating a top notch training program, and putting all the other pieces of the puzzle in place necessary for a national franchise to be successful.

Today, on the strength of Dan Haley’s unique concept and D.P. Dough Franchising’s business systems and passion for the brand, D.P. Dough is ready for breakout national growth with an initial focus on the Midwest, Northeast, and Southeast.

D.P. Dough is excited about bringing calzones to the nation, one college at a time! But that can only happen with the right franchisee partners, who have a passion for people and calzones. If you would like to be a part of the D.P. Dough story, we would love to talk to you! Please fill out the information form and we’ll be in touch!

Meet the D.P. Dough Team

Matt Crumpton – President & CEO

In addition to overseeing the company, Matt has day to day responsibility for brand strategy, legal, finance, and oversight of corporate stores for D.P. Dough Franchising. Matt fell in love with D.P. Dough during his days at Ohio University (where he ordered over one-hundred calzones in his college career). After graduating in the top 2% of his law school class, Matt was an associate at a corporate law firm, and then managing partner of Crumpton Law LLC, a small business and entertainment law firm he founded. In his free time, Matt works with Music Loves Ohio, a 501(c)(3) that he founded to provide music opportunities to youth who cannot otherwise afford them, and plays bass, guitar, and keyboards in a 90s rap jam cover band called The Winnie Cooper Project. He has been named a Power Suit by 614 Magazine, a Person to Watch by Columbus Alive, a Visionary by Celebrating Visionaries, and Forty Under 40 by Columbus Business First.  Matt lives in Columbus, Ohio with his wife (and fellow Ohio U Bobcat) Jillian and their young daughter.

David Schylling – Vice President of Franchise Operations

David oversees supply chain operations, brand uniformity, technology development and implementation, new-store openings and menu development. David was introduced to D.P. Dough in 1999 while working as a delivery driver at the University of Delaware location, while pursuing a major in Computer Engineering. He has ownership interests in three D.P. Dough restaurants and has assisted in the opening of numerous other locations. As a side-project, he also co-owns a college bar in Ithaca, NY. In his free time, David enjoys spending time with his growing family. He has a passion for travel and exploring foreign cities (We think he is secretly scouting new markets!). He is a foodie at heart, enjoying all types of cuisine both local and foreign while enjoying cooking at home. To get away from it all, he likes to run and has completed a number of half-marathons.

Dan Harlett – Vice President of Restaurant Operations

Dan is responsible for the development and implementation of training materials for franchisees and their employees. He also works with the Zoneware support staff troubleshooting issues and installing Zoneware POS systems. Dan worked as a delivery driver and manager of the D.P. Dough restaurant in Athens, Ohio for three years before joining D.P. Dough Franchising LLC.  Prior to his work with D.P. Dough, Dan worked his way from a manager to an area manager with Buffalo Wild Wings.  When he’s not working on D.P. Dough projects, Dan spends his time on classic cars. He buys, sells, trades, and restores collector vehicles. He’s had several of the cars he’s restored featured on television and in magazines. Don’t ask him about classic cars unless you have at least a half-hour of nothing to do because he’ll talk your ear off about them.

Jerry DePizzo – Director of Growth

As Director of Growth, Jerry is focused on expanding the D.P. Dough brand into new markets via franchise sales, implementing technology that improves the customer experience and increases revenue, and works with the marketing department to create clear, concise collateral reinforcing brand standards and values.  Jerry has over 10 years of experience in the food service industry and is a member of the “Nine Doughs” corporate store ownership group.  He has also spent over 20 years as a member of the multi platinum rock band, O.A.R.  If he’s not in the office, he’s out on the road entertaining the masses.

Erik Opheim – Director of Digital and Creative Marketing

Erik is responsible for all things related to digital and/or creative marketing. His day to day portfolio includes managing national social media, local social media programs, email marketing, and graphic design. Erik is the creator and voice of Stoney Calzoney, D.P. Dough’s rapping calzone mascot. Erik is an avid writer and musician. He is an Ohio University alumni.


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