Copps Pizza is opening its second metro area location in Shadow Lake Towne Center. Owner, Kris Copp said that the company aims to have a soft launch of the new location on September 28 and that it will be three times larger than the 72nd Street restaurant.
“There will definitely be more space for dining in. We still are going to have a very large area for carry-out and then we’re obviously going to be doing delivery still,” said Copp. “Just pre-COVID [on 72nd Street] every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday night we had lines out the door. So, we felt like we just needed a space to have more people.”
The Papillion location will include a full bar, patio dining and an expanded menu. Copp said that the new menu will still be focused on pizza, but it will also feature more salads, burgers, wraps, paninis and more keto-friendly options.
“And a whole bunch of off-the-wall kind of stuff. Thinking outside the box,” said Copp.
The first pizzeria opened in late October of last year. The company chose Shadow Lake Towne Center as its next spot for multiple reasons including the projected population growth of the area.
“It’s going to be the fastest growing area. Bellevue is also really big – La Vista, Ralston. We also have a really strong following. And then Mayor Black and everybody seems to be really pro business and local businesses,” said Copp.
He added that the sense of community in Shadow Lake Towne Center combined with the number of locally owned businesses and large, anchor businesses such as Hy-Vee and Dick’s Sporting Goods influenced the decision to open up there.
“You know, they’re really bringing in a lot of local stores right now. That was kind of a big selling point,” said Copp, who also mentioned that his company makes an effort to use local vendors.
It was demographic research that prompted him to choose the Omaha area for his new business in the first place. After overseeing the management of multiple Pizza Hut and Panda Express locations, Copp moved his family to Omaha from Kansas City.
“We did quite a bit of market research and we’d been to Omaha multiple times for the zoo and a few other things, so we liked the area from what we knew of it. But a lot of the research shows that people around here are willing to pay money for what they want,” said Copp.
He explained that in some markets consumers wouldn’t pay extra for something like the Pork Burnt Ends pizza, which is probably their best seller, but Copp said Omaha diners are willing to pay for quality. The pizza joint is also known for its cream cheese sauce.
“Once I get people to try it, they’re kind of surprised,” said Copp. “Everybody thinks it’s going to be this thick, cream cheese like Philadelphia cream cheese and it’s just, you know, kind of pared down to be more of a complement to the pizza rather than (dominating) the pizza.”
He said that COVID-19 has posed challenges for Copps Pizza and they try to adjust to demand as it changes. They’ve added more delivery drivers and Copp said that 92 percent of their deliveries throughout the metro area have been made in 40 minutes or less.
“We love it here in Omaha and the community involvement, not just around us, around all the local businesses, it’s been awesome to watch,” said Copp.
He said that after meeting other restaurant owners in Shadow Lake Towne Center it almost feels as if the new branch of Copps Pizza is part of a “team effort” and that they are all rooting for each other to succeed.