The Great Plains Sauce & Dough Company was established in May of 1979. We have weathered the storms of business and prospered among chain operations with far larger marketing budgets. Why? Because GPS&D Co. isn't about being the biggest or the busiest. It's about being "The Best."
What we do
The whole idea behind the Great Plains Sauce & Dough Company was and is to produce a top quality pizza at an affordable price. And make it one we are proud to serve. To us, "quality" isn't just an advertising buzzword. It is a fact of life. To us, quality means using 100% real dairy cheese, not some pseudo-cheese product. It means using pizza sauce that's fresh-packed by one of the only companies that still does it that way, not re-manufactured from cooked-down tomato paste. It means using fresh onions, green peppers and mushrooms, not frozen or freeze-dried. It means going to the extra effort of having our sausage ground and seasoned to our own specifications, not using some soy-added "pork topping." It means making the dough fresh every day and rolling each one to order, not using mass-produced stamped-out frozen crusts. Quality, to us, is knowing that the product we serve is truly "The Best."
Your Great Plains pizza is created entirely after you place your order. Only the finest ingredients go into, and onto, your pizza. It does take a little more time to do it that way, both before it goes into the oven and how long it has to be in the oven to properly bake. But, it's the only way we know to produce the kind of quality food we're willing to serve. Lots of other places are faster. Some are cheaper. But we don't think you'll ever find one better.
A bit of history
After having worked in the hospitality business for other people and seeing how our efforts were making those people a fair bit of money, we decided maybe we should be the ones more directly benefiting from those efforts. And with that decision, a pair of entrepreneurs was born. It was the late 70s and downtown Ames had a thriving entertainment scene. Okay, it had several bars that were filled with college students almost every night of the week. The legal age of alcohol consumption was 18, and that meant 3/4ths of the student population at ISU was of legal age and could drink in the supervised environments of licensed bars and taverns. A large percentage of those who chose to consume alcohol did so in those downtown establishments. So, our original plan was to get into the bar business, as that's what we were most familiar with and where it looked like the best returns would be had.
After a couple of false starts where fate failed to smile on us, we found a space downtown that was closed and available for rent. It had been a Pagliai's Pizza for a couple of years, which to us meant it already had restrooms in it, saving us the expense of adding them into our planned bar-with-a-deli-counter. After sharing our vision with the building's owner, he said it sounded good, but wondered if we'd ever considered the pizza business. We hadn't. We ate pizza. We enjoyed pizza. But because we had no experience in the pizza business, it wasn't something we'd considered. He noted that all the necessary equipment was already there and that he'd be happy to teach us what we needed to know to get started with pizza. After a couple of days of discussion, we decided to give it a shot. And here we are, 35 or so years later. Maybe fate had been saving its smile for something other than the bar business. And for that we are thankful.