'We have been ecstatic'

Nathan Cobb | 315-4432 | @WaltonSunNate | nathan@waltonsun.com

A new pizzeria was recently added to Miramar Beach with the slogan "if it's not Romeo's, it's just pizza."

The new restaurant is the first Romeo's Pizza in Walton County, and David McCafferty, the company's chief marketing officer, said the brand hopes to expand across the area in the future.

"Our CEO and owner, Ryan Rose, has a condo in the area and has been visiting for the past nine years," McCafferty said. "On one of his last trips, he noticed that the old Jordano's Pizza shop had closed and inquired about the possibility of opening a Romeo's Pizza in that location."

The company originated in Medina, Ohio, in 2011 and 32 of their 37 restaurants are owned by franchisees. The Miramar location is a corporate-owned restaurant.

Rose said he started off as an individual franchise owner until becoming CEO in 2015 and then purchased the company the following year.

The recent boom in the area's economy over the past nine years sparked the company's interest in Miramar Beach, and Rose said he's very pleased with the business they're getting just a few weeks in.

"Nine years ago, it was kind of a desolate place that was visited heavy in the summer and then any other time was kind of quiet, and then all of a sudden we saw the traffic build," he said.

A lot of people from areas of the Midwest like Ohio, Indiana and Illinois vacation in the Panhandle and Rose hopes they will boost the new location's business.

Romeo's has won previous awards including best gourmet pizza in America, best pizza in the Midwest and best pizza in Columbus, Ohio.

They've also made appearances on the Food Network's TV show "The Pizza Challenge" in 2006, where they took third place.

Rose said that national shout-out to took the brand to a new level and put them in a position to franchise and add locations.

Other than a bit of digital marketing, the new shop hasn't done much advertising, and Rose said that when they first oped up, he didn't know what to expect.

"We're just really excited to be in Miramar," Rose said. "We've been, I don't want to say shocked, but we have been ecstatic with the way that we have been received in the market so far."

Romeo's Pizza is located at 10004 U.S. 98 W, Miramar Beach.