Aglio Pizzeria

Aglio Pizzeria
Hot soppressata pizza | photo by Lasamee Kettavong

Founders and Lead Pizzaiole: Dave & Stacy Dockins

By Lasamee Kettavong

It’s impossible to deny the curiosity evoked when you see the Dockins’ van that once served as their tiny home as they traveled along the west coast and worked remotely. It’s sleek and shiny and has surfboards strapped to one side. In Texas! This van evolved into the vessel through which Stacy and Dave would become purveyors of pizza. As a Dentonite, whenever you saw this van in 2023 parked at a market with the Aglio pizza ovens fired up and tables set up with dough and fresh ingredients, you knew it was the place to be. Some would say your nose would’ve told you this first: the enticing aromas of Aglio Pizzeria are unmatched. 

You might already know Stacy and Dave, who opened Yoga Project, a studio in Denton, a little before 2023. The philosophy that they have for physical wellness carries over from Yoga Project to Aglio, and you can taste it in the ingredients that they use and preparation of the food they serve. I would like to think that the ideas behind their tagline, “mind, body, and fitness,” for Yoga Project applies to one’s appreciation of a lovingly, well-made pizza too. 

Long before I officially met the lovely Aglio founders at an evening market at True Leaf Studio, I’d been enjoying their delicious pizza, both my own selections and slices placed in my hands by friends, enthusiastic and willing to part with some of their precious pies because it was just.that.good; they felt it would have been a disservice for such goods not to be shared with companions. One of my favorite memories of inhaling Aglio pizza is while hanging out on the back patio of Steve’s Wine Bar after attending an event at Sunago Bell for Global Entrepreneurship Week (a very Denton, small business-supportive night indeed). I recall insisting that we needed to try everything on their menu that evening; fortunately for me, our group of at least a dozen were more than game to do so. On the menu that evening was the classic margherita, Ragu Bianco, and the ZUCCA. Memorable, I tell you.

Aglio’s pizza crust is a perfect combination of crisp and delicately chewy with some seriously impressive air pockets. They credit their method for this feat, choosing the best imported flour and double fermenting the dough, and we will also credit their passion and dedication to their craft. Not to mention, they’ve really put in the time to do their research for what will be closest to achieving perfection - we’re referring to their food science background here (which is almost as impressive as that unforgettable, air pocket-y crust). The pizza toppings are always thoughtfully chosen for the perfect balance of a filling and still refreshing meal: soppressata, broccoli rabe, and cremini atop torn, fresh mozzarella and parmesan? Yes, please. Aglio also offers cashew based mozzarella for dairy-free or vegan pals. We love a good veg ally.

Aglio contributes mightily to the Denton foodie community, and it has always been a joy to see them pop up at markets around town, which is why we have been eagerly awaiting the opening of their brick and mortar.

Dave and Stacy Dawkins | photo courtesy of Aglio

They took a few moments from their busy brick and mortar opening days to answer a couple of questions for us:

When you started pop-ups in 2023, what was your vision and what were you expecting? Were you dreaming of opening a brick and mortar already/was that the end goal? 

“Ever since we began crafting pizzas for our family 15 years ago, Dave has been refining and perfecting the dough. Given his background in food science, this endeavor was right in his wheelhouse. Stacy's inspiration for pizza flavors and toppings comes from her family in Italy. 

The dream of owning a pizzeria has been with us for years, but the timing was uncertain. When we launched pop-up events last year, we didn't know where they would take us. Our goal was to forge stronger ties with the community, and sharing pizza seemed like the perfect means to do so. The pop-ups brought us immense joy and fulfillment, sparking the idea of the pizzeria. 

Each pizza we create is a labor of love, with attention given to every small detail. We exclusively use Italian flour, cultivate a significant portion of our produce, and offer a small, seasonally influenced menu.” 

What are your feelings around Aglio's soft opening this past weekend? What do you want Dentonites and our community to know and to hear from you? 

“Hosting loved ones for a special meal is a cherished tradition, and Aglio is an extension of this hospitality. 

Initially, we will operate with limited hours on Fridays and Saturdays, with plans to introduce online ordering in the future.

The soft opening was an enjoyable experience, showcasing the community's love and support. Managing the crowd went smoothly, and we are fully engaged in the ongoing learning process. We are fortunate to have an amazing team and eagerly anticipate the upcoming weekend.”

Aglio Pizzeria is located at 104 W. Congress St. You walk in to see a pizza oven in the corner behind the service counter in what was once the room used as the lobby of the Yoga Project. The space functions as home to both businesses: Yoga Project and Aglio Pizzeria. 

On soft opening day, Saturday, March 9th, there were tables for two and four in the front room, and to the left (the yoga studio), additional tables were set up in the airy, plant-adorned space. People gathered at tables and sat in circles on the studio floor with their friends and family, chatting, drinking, and laughing while waiting for their pizza. It felt a little like a block party. There were so many familiar faces popping into the space while I was dining and on my way out the door. Stomach full, heart filled.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of Aglio Pizzeria’s story as we get closer to their grand opening! Do you have any questions you’d like to see covered?