by Ardeana Hamlin
of The Weekly Staff
BREWER — One of the newest members of the Brewer business community is Little Caesars Pizza which opened June 3 at the Brewer Shopping Center on Wilson Street. The store’s opening marks the seventh for owner David Dubois of Durham, and his first in the Bangor area. His other stores are in Topsham, Bath, Augusta, Waterville, Auburn and Lewiston, which, with the Brewer store, has created jobs for 120 employees. “It’s what I enjoy most,” DuBois said of working with his employees. “I have a good crew here [in Brewer].”
So far, response to Little Caesars in Brewer has been great, Dubois said.
Managing the seven stores is a second career for Dubois. He spent 10 years in the Air Force in public affairs as a reporter, and working in the office of the Secretary of the Air Force in New York City. After his stint in the Air Force, he worked for a private public relations company.
Dubois said he has degree in English from the University of Maine, and a master’s degree in criminal justice. “Of course, I ended up making pizza,” he said, laughing.
But making pizza — or at least owning the stores that make pizza — seems to agree with Dubois. He received training in his new career at the Little Caesars corporate headquarters in Detroit.
“Little Caesars is the only national pizza franchise that makes its own dough,” DuBois said. From scratch, and never frozen. After the dough is mixed, it is weighed into the right amount to fit a 14-inch pizza pan. Each piece of dough is put into a machine that shapes it into a ball. The balls of dough are allowed to rest and rise in a walk-in refrigerator for 12 hours. Every batch of dough is used within 48 hours, DuBois said. Each of his stores has two or three people trained to make the dough.
When it’s time to make the pizza, each round of dough is rolled in flour, dropped into a machine that almost instantly flattens it into a 14-inch diameter, not too thick and not too thin, wafer of dough to fit pizza pans dusted with cornmeal rather than oil.
Pizza sauce is added by a device that whirls the pan around while squirting sauce on it, then cheese and toppings are added. Once a pizza is put into one side of the deck oven, it will take five minutes and 20 seconds for it to come out the other side. The area where the pizza is boxed is located at the end of the oven. Each box is marked with a 30-minute expiration time. The boxed pizzas are placed in one of three vertical warming ovens. If the pizza hasn’t sold in 30 minutes it is discarded.
But with 500 pizzas going out the door on weekends, discards are not something DuBois worries about.
So far, the most popular items at the Brewer store is the Deep!Deep! Dish pizza, which is square rather than round, and the $5 lunch combo, which includes half of a Deep!Deep! Dish pizza.
The cost of a pepperoni or plain cheese Little Caesars pizza if $5.50 and the Deep!Deep! Dish pizza is $8. The quality of the ingredients that go into his stores’ pizzas are consistently high, Dubois said.
DuBois already is looking to the future. He said he would like to open a Little Caesar’s somewhere in Bangor. “I’m looking for a location now,” he said.
In addition to pizza, the store offers crazy bread, iced cinnamon bread, zesty cheese breads, Caesar wings — oven roasted, barbecue, buffalo, garlic Parmesan, teriyaki, spicy barbecue, lemon pepper and bacon — and soft drinks in cans or bottles. Specialty items include the Ultimate Supreme, 3-Meat Treat, Meatsa, Veggie or Hula Hawaiian pizzas.
For information, call 307-7008.