Jesse Plemons and Kirsten Dunst made some new fans at Poppa Rollo's in Waco.

Mary Duty / Facebook
Pizza News

These A-List Stars Chose a Family-Owned Shop for Post-Holiday Pizza

Co-owner Mary Duty described their famous guests, Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons, as "such a sweet couple."

When actors Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons craved pizza on the Saturday after the Thanksgiving holiday, they chose an old-school family-owned restaurant that has been in business for more than 50 years: Poppa Rollo’s in Waco, Texas. And the Hollywood stars quickly made friends with the entire team.

The pizzeria’s co-owner, Mary Duty, posted a photo of the Hollywood power couple—along with the Poppa Rollo’s crew—on Facebook. “They are such a sweet couple,” Duty wrote in her November 25 post. “And Jesse’s folks are mighty nice, too.”

Plemons grew up in Mart, Texas, near Waco, and his family still lives in the area. He and Dunst starred together in the 2021 film, The Power of the Dog. They reportedly met on the set of FX’s TV show, Fargo, while playing a bumbling married couple who inadvertently get mixed up with a local crime syndicate.

Poppa Rollo’s celebrated its 50th anniversary in August 2019. Founded by Mary Duty and her husband, Roland, the restaurant spawned a second location operated by their sons, Justin and Caleb Duty. The brothers, born pizzaioli, also operate 900 Degrees Pizzeria, a mobile operation in Waco.

Local NBC affiliate 5 NBCDFW describes Poppa Rollo’s as “a rambling joint…replete with ‘Laurel and Hardy’ and ‘Three Stooges’ clips on the big screen, laughter, casual chatter and memories.” After opening in 1969, the family-friendly restaurant “became a classic venue for first dates, first jobs and supposedly Waco’s first big-screen TV, where customers watched the Roger Staubach-led Dallas Cowboys back in the day. Roland Duty was not above hoisting a bawling baby to his chest for a walk around the premises, giving relatives a break.”

“What did Mom and Dad teach me? I guess ‘everything’ would not be a good answer,” Justin Duty told 5 NBCDFW. “I was just having lunch with a friend, a longtime customer, and we talked about the same thing. Above all, take care of your customer and serve a good product. Giving back to the community always pays dividends. I remember once, working with the American Heart Association, we offered a discounted pizza or maybe a straight free pizza for each pint of blood donated. Such promotions have been commonplace.”

As you might expect from a 54-year-old hometown pizzeria, the menu at Poppa Rollo’s sticks with the classics: a Four-Cheese (mozzarella, Parmesan, provolone and cheddar), a Hawaiian, a Spinach Alfredo, a BBQ Chicken pizza. But the Dutys also offer a “Healthlite” pizza menu, with pies made with whole-wheat dough and a low-sodium sauce. Options include the Chicken Italian Sausage and the Turkey Pepperoni pies.

And the pizza shop’s longevity has helped the Dutys make a lot of friends—of all ages—over the past half-century. “Some of the most wonderful young people have worked here,” Mary Duty told the NBC affiliate. “I know a dear woman whose five kids all worked here at one time or another. Toddlers who ran around the place have grown up and come back.”

She added, “We love what we do. We’ve had a small part in making Waco a better place to live. We feed people and share our hospitality. What a racket!”