Shortys Pizzeria a family affair

PARKERSBURG – Some people say don’t go into business with your family, but don’t tell the Dugans that.

Shawn and Emily Dugan, a husband-and-wife duo, are working to make Wood County’s wood-fired oven pizzeria successful.

The building, located in the 3000 block of Murdoch Avenue, was designed to house a McHappy’s Bake Shoppe and was previously home to a Doppio Coffee before the Dugans renovated the building and took over operations in November 2012.

The official opening date of Shortys Pizzeria at 3601 Murdoch Ave., Parkersburg, was Nov. 19, they said. The business had what is referred to as a “soft opening” in the industry. Emily Dugan said the business is finally ready for the demand in customers the valley has to offer.

The Belpre natives said renovations on Shortys Pizzeria were no easy task, and getting the wood fired oven into the building was the hardest part.

“We actually had to take apart the door and door frame to get (the oven) in here,” she said.

Although the couple is working with a small location, the pizza pacts a true to Italy flavor. The company uses many imported products such as cheese, tomato sauce and meats. Ingredients are prepared fresh each day, Shawn Dugan said.

Shawn and Emily have two daughters, Sophia and Lila. Shawn’s father, Brien Dugan, helps with business operations. The carry-out or delivery-only pizza business includes the three family employees, a sous chef (David Perdue) and a delivery driver (Zach Crouser), Shawn Dugan said.

Shawn Dugan said the inspiration in opening the pizzeria was after he took a trip to study abroad in Piedmont, Italy.

“I couldn’t get enough (of the pizza) while I was over there,” Dugan said of Italy.

He attended Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio, where he graduated in 2010 with an associate degree in culinary arts. Emily Dugan graduated from Hocking College with an associate degree in hotel/restaurant management.

The pizza parlor uses a 200-year-old starter recipe that originated in Naples, Italy. The pizza pies are cooked in the wood-fired oven at 725 degrees.

Each pizza takes about seven minutes to cook, they said.

Menu items also include salads, subs and desserts. Hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, including Sunday, with operating hours from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Emily Dugan said being family based will hopefully allow them to become successful in their business endeavor.

“We’re excited to give Parkersburg something new,” she said. “There’s something to be said for fresh ingredients and fresh products.”

The couple said they would love to open a sit-down restaurant in the future.