Out of all places on earth to have found a company using a .pizza domain name as a primary digital presence, imagine how surprised I was to have had this encounter happen in my hometown.
In the mid to late 90’s as the world was coming online, Sherman, Texas had just crossed over 30,000 population mark.
Back then, the Chamber of Commerce, Yellow Pages and Sherman Democrat, now the Herald Democrat, were a business’ advertising staple to reach more customers and generate greater revenue.
There were not many businesses, if any back then, touting a web address of any sort.
I’m certain most businesses owners had no clue of what a web address was nor did they ever imagine the Internet would be what it it today, some 20 years later.
20 years later and having adding another 10,000 folks in population, I often don’t think of Sherman as a city of progressive technological advancement, especially for businesses using new top-level domains.
Nevertheless, we arrived in Sherman from Austin just in time to celebrate my mother and her years of service at the Sherman Independent School District’s retirement party.
In route to the retirement party, my family and I were momentarily delayed by a red light at the corner of HWY 1417 and Lamberth.
It was here at the red light, that I was looking around and spotted what looked to be a period or dot in the middle of the phrase “MrJims Pizza” instead of a space, or a business actually using .pizza address.
As the light turned green, I quickly snapped a pic and opened a browser to discover a MrJims website using MrJims.Pizza as its primary web address.
I then typed in MrJims.com and MrJimsPizza.com, and found both redirecting to MrJims.Pizza.
I then attempted typing in a few other variations into web browsers — MrJim.com and MrJimPizza.com — discovering MrJim.com is registered and not resolving, and MrJimPizza.com readily available for hand registration at the time of this publication.
After perusing MrJims.Pizza’s website, I discovered an interesting story of the origins and winding path of ups and downs of the company.
What’s most interesting about the journey is that in 2014, the company was renamed from Mr. Jim’s Pizza to MrJims.Pizza after 40 years in business.
Long story short, an ex-employee of MrJims.Pizza had embarked upon an endeavor of developing his own online ordering website for pizza ordering back in 2004, ePizza.cc.
About a year to two years later, the ex-employee and MrJims.Pizza worked out a deal to accept orders online and the rest was history.
Fast forward to today, ownership of MrJims.Pizza were in search of ways to effectively incorporate the idea of the tomorrow’s internet into its brand today — hence the change from Mr. Jim’s Pizza to MrJims.Pizza after becoming aware of the .pizza extension and having had MrJimsPizza survey well amongst customers.
There’s certainly more to the story for this national chain with its progressive branding and use of a new top-level domain as its brand.
In closing, it’s this caliber of forward-thinking by companies that are likely to forever cement the use of new top-level domains across companies of all sizes — especially brands owning and redirecting the matching .com to their new top-level domain name.
I certainly believe more and more prominent usage of new top-level domains is likely on the rise for companies across the board, and cities small to large.
Hats off to MrJims.Pizza! ?