27 February 2023

After a 40-year wait, it's pizza night north of Gobba Bridge

| Chris Roe
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man with pizza

Dan Evans is excited to open a Domino’s pizza store in Boorooma. Photo: Chris Roe.

The pizzas are hot and the orders have been rolling in after Domino’s Boorooma fired up the ovens to become the first takeaway north of the Gobba Bridge.

“People are genuinely excited,” franchisee Dan Evans said on Monday after opening his doors for the first time.

“We’ve been in here for a week now doing our fitout and setting up equipment and people have been driving through to look at the centre and saying how good it will be to have access to services.”

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With two northside shopping centres under construction, the Boorooma Shops, on the corner of Messenger Avenue and Phar Lap Place, can claim bragging rights now that the pizzas are pouring out the doors.

“We’ll have a chemist opening up and there’ll be a coffee shop, a service station and a few other things going in here soon,” said Dan.

Boorooma shops sign

With Domino’s now open at Boorooma Shops, a chemist is expected to open in March. Photo: Chris Roe.

It’s certainly been a long wait for services in Wagga’s booming northern suburbs, with the first residents moving into Estella in 1981.

Bruce Durham, president of the Estella Progress Association, says they’ve been promised local shops for decades.

“We’ve been here 20-something years and back then it was ‘supermarket coming soon’,” he laughed.

“It’s been a big plus to have something started and hopefully we can build on that once people see we’ve got the population out here to do it.”

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Bruce said that after years of advocating for services and many false starts, they were surprised when not one but two developments kicked off.

“It was the one up the hill in Estella [Avocet Drive] that we were pushing for, but nothing was really happening,” he explained.

“The land at Boorooma is owned by the Catholic Church and it surprised us a bit when it all came out that they were starting to do a shopping centre there.”

While work has been underway on both sites for more than a year, wet weather and delays in sourcing materials have slowed things down.

Estella Shops

Up the hill in Estella, Foodworks has a way to go before completion. Photo: Chris Roe.

Dan Evans also owns Wagga’s two other Domino’s stores and is promising more pizzas in shorter times.

“There’s a big, growing population out this side of the river that we weren’t able to service to the best ability, so building another store gets hotter, fresher pizzas to customers quicker,” he said, indicating the shiny new double-decker oven that cooks twice as fast at 3.5 minutes.

“We’ve really tried to get our staff to hustle and not keep people waiting for their food, and we hope to deliver within 15 minutes.”

As well as cars, Dan has invested in a fleet of e-bikes that he said created job opportunities for workers without a licence.

“We’ve already recruited a lot of people through our existing staff in the other stores and through online platforms, so we’ve already brought on about 20 extra staff.”

As one of the first businesses in the northern suburbs, Domino’s is also getting behind the local school.

“The local community’s been very receptive and we’ve got a fundraiser this Thursday with the local (Estella) primary school and we’re donating $2 for every pizza that we sell back to the school,” he said.

“People have been very welcoming and we’re excited to be here.”

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