Pizza and college students go together like the sun and the moon, and Alfred State College’s new Pizza Pioneer dining location officially opened with a galaxy of rave reviews. The new dining hot-spot is located at 10 Elm, which is also home to Auxiliary Campus Enterprises and Service’s (ACES) Fresh Market and Café.
“Pizza Pioneer replaces a nationally branded pizza location that had been part of campus for 20 years,” explained Denise Brownell ‘89, director of dining services. “Our students were ready for a pizza flavor refresh and our retail dining team took it as a challenge to come up with a menu that was even more delicious.”
So far, it looks like that challenge has been successfully met. Pizza Pioneer is the brainchild of Assistant Managers John Schunamann and Marc Mastrella ’16 and Assistant Director of Retail Operations Michael Murray ’78.
“We created our own sauce recipe and selected the highest-quality products because we know that students take their pizza seriously” explained Schunamann.
“Self-branded retail operations on a college campus have to stand on their own merits,” observed Mastrella. “We have to give customers a reason to break out of their brand-name habits and visit our location.”
Murray, Schunamann and Mastrella not only created the menu, they also developed the logo, working with local marketers White Imprints to find just the right brand image for their new unit.
So far, students have demonstrated their appreciation for the hard work of the dining team. According to Denise Brownell, director of Dining Services for ACES, pizza sales on-campus are up 10 percent, which amounts to over 8,000 slices of pizza served by Pizza Pioneer each week.
“Mike, John and Marc and their team of ACES full-time employees and student workers have created another successful retail operation. This group has opened three successful dining units over the last four years. I couldn’t be more proud of their work,” Brownell said.
Pizza Pioneer is open from 3-11 p.m. Monday through Friday and 5-11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday while classes are in session.