The aromas of fresh dough and ingredients lured pizza lovers to the grand opening of Marco’s Pizza in Prosper on Sunday, Aug. 27.

The new store is owned by Max Yadegar and is located at 1180 North Coit Rd. The event featured family-friendly activities like bouncy houses, face painting, carnival games, and of course, plenty of free pizza.

“The lines were very long,” Yadegar said. “We were very happy with the turnout and the community support.”

Marco’s was founded by Pat Giammarco, who opened his first store in Toledo, Ohio back in 1978. The company prides itself on true Italian heritage and still uses the same family recipe for its dough and sauce, something that separates them from other large pizza chains such as Domino’s, Pizza Hut, and Papa John’s.

Fresh dough is prepared every morning, along with the sauce and toppings. Giammarco’s primary focus was always to ensure the quality of his product, but his company didn’t start to grow at a rapid rate until Jack Budorac was hired as a franchising consultant.

“[Giammarco’s] love was the pizza,” current Marco’s area representative Justin Tarrant said. “His love was the quality of the product and the customers. He didn’t want to get bogged down with the business side of things.”

Since Tarrant joined Marco’s Pizza seven years ago, they’ve grown from fewer than 200 stores to nearly 900. They already have 21 stores in the Dallas Fort-Worth area and will be opening at five more locations by the end of the year, including Saginaw, Carrolton, Rockwall, Arlington, and Denton.

Despite competitors in the area, Tarrant isn’t concerned about maintaining a steady customer base.

“We rarely go into any place where there’s no pizza,” Tarrant said. “We’re not creating new customers. We’re hoping to give customers a higher quality option.”

To build off the relationships made at the event, Marco’s plans on visiting schools, businesses, and local offices to maintain a loyal base of customers. For local parents like Mark Masingil, the grand opening made a good first impression.

“I’ll give them a try because of everything they’ve done today,” Masingil said. “There’s not many other pizza choices in Prosper.”

Location was the convincing factor for Yadegar to get involved with the company. Prosper is one of the fastest growing cities in Texas – Yadegar hopes that will help him lead his team to become the best Marco’s location in the Dallas area.

“We’ve done some research as far as how many people will be living here 10 years from now,” Yadegar said. “It’s a great location. I’m happy with the decision I made.”