Ryan Cameron opens Dough Boy Pizza franchise at South DeKalb Mall

Ryan Cameron has opened a Dough Boy Pizza spot at South DeKalb Mall in Atlanta. CONTRIBUTED



Ryan Cameron has opened a Dough Boy Pizza spot at South DeKalb Mall in Atlanta. CONTRIBUTED

Ryan Cameron, Majic 107.5/97.5 afternoon host, has opened Dough Boy Pizza at South DeKalb Mall with hopes to add other locations down the road.

Cameron, who grew up in Atlanta, said it was important to start out at a mall he has known since he was a child.

“This was an opportunity to bring something to an underserved community,” Cameron said in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Tuesday. “That’s been my mall. This was a no-brainer for me. The mall has had only two food options for the past four years. People are coming to me and saying this is the first time they’ve been at the mall in 20, 30 years. Doing this here is like a full-circle moment for me.”

Dough Boy Pizza, which was created by McDonough chef Erica Barrett, utilizes self-order kiosks rather than cashiers (delivery is also available through third-party services like Doordash and Grubhub). There’s a kitchen with special ovens that cook the pizzas in a mere 180 seconds, which saves on labor costs.

“A major standout is that the entire restaurant is technology-driven,” Cameron said. “That won me over. You just grab and go.”

And when Cameron first sampled a Dough Boy’s pizza, “I was blown away by it. I love pizza. It’s my favorite food.” So instead of buying a Tesla, he decided to be Barrett’s first Dough Boy Pizza franchisee.

The pizzas are Neapolitan-style with a thin crust, mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce. The dough is imported from Italy and the sauces are made in-house. Dough Boy offers both traditional toppings such as pepperoni and sausage and non-traditional toppings like short ribs with caramelized onions and crawfish.

Barrett is also giving Cameron the freedom to experiment and create signature pizzas for his location only. He’s also the only franchisee who is allowed to attach his name to the restaurant, a way to leverage his own brand in Atlanta.

Cameron said his Dough Boy, which had its soft opening over Super Bowl weekend, has had brisk sales so far, exceeding his expectations.

Frank Ski showed up to support his former radio colleague Ryan Cameron at Cameron's opening of his new pizza place Dough Boy Pizza at South DeKalb Mall in 2023. CONTRIBUTED


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His former V-103 comrade Frank Ski, now at rival Kiss 104.1, came to Cameron’s opening day party. Ski knows about restaurants, having run his own Frank Ski’s lounge in Buckhead for several years. But Cameron’s operation is significantly more modest.

Barrett, who also owns SOCU Southern Kitchen & Oyster Bar in Birmingham and Mobile, opened the first Dough Boy in Birmingham last year after being offered space at a food hall. She incorporated technological innovations she saw at a restaurant convention into the concept, which she thought would work well using a franchise model.

So far, she said, the reaction has been fantastic. She already has 10 other franchisees lined up who will be opening Dough Boys across metro Atlanta including Concourse D at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

She is thrilled to have Cameron as her first franchisee. “We have a great sister/brother relationship,” she said. “He’s very passionate about pizza. He’s very positive, a great idea guy.”