The Zeeks Pizza Story
Inspired by their wind-surfing buddy Zeek’s philosophy of keeping life simple and focusing on quality, meaningful experiences, Tom and Doug founded Zeeks Pizza in 1993 with the mission of translating Zeek’s philosophy to pizza. By focusing on simple, hand-crafted food featuring fresh, local ingredients and savory flavors, Zeeks has grown to a Seattle and Northwest institution. Every day, we still abide by the following mantra:
Real Food Made With Real Love Results in Real Flavor
More than 25 years and 17 locations later, that philosophy defines Zeeks Pizza and drives our thriving business model. Now we’re ready to grow beyond our Seattle roots and bring our pizza pubs to other cities throughout the West Coast.
About Our Founders – Doug McClure and Tom Vial
Doug McClure and Tom Vial founded Zeeks Pizza in September of 1993. With $20,000 in start-up capital Doug and Tom opened a 600 square foot pizzeria on the North side of Queen Anne Hill in Seattle. With customers literally lining up out the door on a daily basis, the pizza-guys were emboldened to open a second location in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood in March of 1995. At this point it became abundantly clear that Zeeks was onto something and that their focus on simple, hand-crafted food and fresh, savory flavors was going to lead to something bigger than a couple of restaurants. They rented some shared office space with some band named Pearl Jam and got down to opening three more restaurants and turning Zeeks into a real business. Today, Zeeks has 17 locations and a thriving franchise business. It is poised to expand beyond the borders of its hometown of Seattle and bring handcrafted goodness and local beer to the West Coast and beyond.
Prior to founding Zeeks Pizza, both Doug and Tom worked as IT consultants for the world’s largest computer consulting firm, Andersen Consulting (now Accenture). Doug is a graduate of the University of Colorado where he graduated with degrees in Chinese and Economics. Tom received a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Oregon State University and a B.A. in Physics from University of Puget Sound.
Both Tom and Doug enjoy windsurfing, skiing deep powder, and hanging with their families.
About Our President – Dan Black
Dan has been working with growth companies in Seattle in various executive capacities since the late 90s. Dan was an early principal at Screenlife and served as the company’s President and Chief Operating Officer. Screenlife was a Seattle-based digital entertainment company and creator of the Scene It? entertainment trivia brand. Screenlife pioneered the $250 million/year DVD Board game market through its launch of Scene It – The DVD Movie Game in 2002. Scene It? went on to be the world’s top grossing board game brand for five straight years until it was acquired by the Paramount Pictures division of Viacom in 2008. Dan’s success at Screenlife led to him being honored as one of the Puget Sound Business Journal’s “40 under 40” in 2005.
Dan joined Zeeks Pizza as its president in 2008, and he continues to serve in that capacity. In that time, Zeeks has grown substantially and reinforced its position as the most iconic Northwest pizza company. Zeek’s Seattle roots and focus on handcrafted pizza and beer is very much on-trend nationally. Zeeks is poised to expand beyond its hometown borders and begin franchising in western states.
Dan is a Northwest native and graduated from the University of Washington. He lives in Seattle with his wife, Molly, and three children, Lucy, Hank and Georgia. In his free time, Dan enjoys skiing, boating and Washington Husky football.
About Our Vice President – Greg McClure
Greg has been around Zeeks since it’s inception when his older brother Doug and buddy Tom were hatching a plan to open a pizza place. He first heard about the idea of Zeeks when Doug and Tom came to visit Doug and Greg’s parents for Thanksgiving in Colorado. Doug, Tom, and Greg spent the week getting fresh pow turns in at Mary Jane Mountain and he was instantly hooked on the idea of Zeeks. He came out to attend the University of Washington where he worked in the kitchens while getting his degree in German literature. After working abroad for awhile at a small translating shop, he returned home when Zeeks was amping up its growth to 5 stores and needed some help running things. He has been full-time at Zeeks since 2001 and has ran just about every kind of area imaginable at Zeeks- restaurants, the call center, commissary, HR, accounting, and lots of things in between. His primary role now leading our franchising growth and development and maintaining strong relationships with all of our franchise owners.
Greg enjoys the outdoors at all times of year but likes powder skiing the best, especially with his kids.