By Rick Hynum

Business has exploded this month at Berwick Pizza in Green Camp, Ohio, thanks to foodie influencer Sniping for Dom, whose glowing video review of the restaurant went viral in early June. And it all happened because co-owner Austin Buckland didn’t just sit around waiting and hoping to catch the TikTokker’s eye. He knew what he wanted, and he went for it.

With a population of around 300, Green Camp might be off the beaten path, but the Bucklands—including Austin’s parents, Todd and Brenda—have turned it into a pizza hotspot for the entire region through savvy marketing and a playfully creative menu that’s loaded with surprises for kids and grown-ups alike.

PMQ first reported on the Bucklands’ wildly popular—and delightfully quirky—dessert pizzas last year. Standouts include the Fruity Pebbles, Oreo Cookies and Cream, Cinnamon Twist, Pumpkin Pie, Puppy Chow and Wedding Cake. On the savory side, they offer the Spaghetti Pizza, Buffalo Mac, Mac & Cheese BBQ Pork, Jalapeño Popper, Crab Rangoon and Nashville Hot Chicken, for a total of 20 specialty pies.

But, as Summer 2024 begins, Berwick Pizza’s popularity has hit near-stratospheric levels, with Sniping for Dom’s ecstatic review topping 2.6 million plays on TikTok, along with nearly 170,000 likes and 38,000-plus shares, since it went live on June 5.

Specialty items like the Cookies & Cream dessert pizza have powered the success of Berwick Pizza in tiny Green Camp, Ohio. (Berwick Pizza)

So what’s the story behind this viral boom? Sniping for Dom—whose real name is Dereck Malone—has 816,500 followers and reviews restaurants around the U.S., but Ohio is the influencer’s primary stomping ground. So Austin tried tickling his fancy with some tenacious one-to-one outreach.

“I had found his contact info and then sent him an email, not really knowing if I would hear back or not, but it turned out really nice,” Buckland told PMQ in a Friday, June 21 interview. “There was quite a lot of back-and-forth over the course of a few weeks to make sure it was something that lined up with his channel and something he would be interested in. And he was really interested in it because of all the eye-catching stuff that we do.”

The influencer, who sports a graying beard and a flashy mini-mohawk, brought his 12-year-old son—the Dom in Sniping for Dom—along for the review. They sampled a veritable smorgasbord of Berwick Pizza’s specialty pies as well as pastas and salads. “We’re going crazy over everything, so we just got lots of things,” Dom enthused to the camera. The feast included the Buffalo Chicken Dip, the Crab Rangoon, the Mac & Cheese Pulled Pork, the Spaghetti Pizza and the Fruity Pebbles.

“These things are crazy-good,” Malone exclaimed. “The crust is great on them, too.” A wide-eyed Dom concurred, marveling at one pizza’s cheese pull and later declaring, “That might be the best Buffalo chicken I’ve ever had.”

Berwick Pizza has been pulling customers from around Ohio and surrounding states for years, thanks to its traditional and non-traditional pizzas made with a 72-hour-fermented dough and fresh veggies chopped in-house every day. With the Sniping for Dom review, however, the Buckland family had to gear up for business like they’ve never seen.

Austin said the review boosted business “almost instantly.”


The most insane pizzas youll see in the united states! Berwick pizza @Berwick Pizza in green camp ohio is doing pizzas you didnt even think could exist! Pizzas like fruity pebbles, crab rangoon, little debbie christmas tree cakes, bbq pork mac n cheese and tons more! You wont find another experience like this anywhere! #berwickpizza #greencampohio #pizza #bestpizza #fruitypebblepizza #pizzalover #foodies #foodreview

♬ original sound – SnipingForDom

“It posted on a Wednesday, between 8 and 9 a.m.,” he recalled. “By noon, I think it was at, like, 60,000 views. And [Malone] called me and was, like, ‘Hey, just from my experience of watching how these things usually go, I think it’s going to hit a million…I’m just telling you to get ready, be prepared.’”

Todd Buckland quickly placed an additional order with his food rep to handle a big Thursday rush. “But that Wednesday night, we started seeing it,” Austin told PMQ. “I mean, it was almost immediate, and by Thursday night we had people coming in from out of state. The interesting part is, that first weekend was obviously crazy for us, but the next weekend was even busier than the prior one. And, so far, this week is on the same trend, shaping up to be busier than the last two weeks. So it’s been wild.”

The video generated such enormous buzz, Austin has shrewdly stepped up the action on Berwick Pizza’s own TikTok account, which now has 2,993 followers. One of his videos, featuring a pizza with half Oreo Cookies and Cream and half Fruity Pebbles, dropped on June 9 and garnered nearly 716,000 views and 5,608 likes.

And the ideas for new pizzas keep coming. The Buckland family had already ramped up the menu madness with a 10-week promotion in which employees conjure up their own specialty pizza ideas. That started in May and has produced dessert pizza recipes like Kylie’s Apple Cinnamon Roll, Hannah’s Twix, Todd’s Honey Smacks, Brenda’s Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel, Patience’s Hot Chocolate-Covered Banana, Kenzley’s Strawberry Pop Tart, Jak’s American Deli and, debuting on June 25, Jayda’s Coffee Lava Cake.

Oh, and Austin himself contributed a pie topped with animal cookies. Yes, animal cookies.

Berwick Pizza team member Kenzley dreamed up the Strawberry Pop Tart pizza for an employee competition. (Berwick Pizza)

“We rarely ever struggle to come up with more [pizza] ideas,” Austin said. “But to task our employees with coming up with something that we’ve never done before—that was a little bit of a challenge, I think, for everybody, which ended up making it more fun.”

The competition pizzas get featured every week on Facebook and Instagram. Prizes are based on total sales of each pizza and include gift cards, a shot at Pizza of the Month status and a paid shift off from work.

Not only has the promotion generated new signature pizza possibilities, it has also encouraged employees to get directly involved with marketing the restaurant. One contestant, determined to win, made posters for her pie and persuaded her mother to place them at her workplace, a local factory.

“She taped them up in the break rooms, the bathrooms, on the walls and in hallways everywhere. So they actually got a group order together, and we delivered it,” Austin said. “I think their one order alone totaled 20 chocolate-covered pizzas. She had friends and family come in, and we had people [from the factory] come in and say, ‘Hey, I didn’t even know you guys were out here. I saw this flier taped in the break room, so I just had to come and try it.’ That kind of took the competition to another level.”

Meanwhile, Berwick Pizza’s team members also help taste-test new pizza ideas, giving them a voice in the restaurant’s operations and bolstering its corporate culture and sense of family. “We’ll make the pizzas while all our employees are here, so they all get to try them,” Buckland says. “And we can say, ‘Well, that didn’t work out well’ or ‘that’s really good’ or ‘we can do this differently.’ So we keep tweaking it to get it to where we all think it’s perfect.”

Perfection achieved, at least according to Sniping for Dom. “They are wizards,” he proclaimed, after his first bite of the Buffalo Chicken Dip pizza. “This is nuts. So good!”

Malone was so impressed, he and Austin are still in touch. “I just spoke with him yesterday,” Austin told PMQ in a follow-up email on Wednesday, June 26, “and we are working on a collaboration pizza (two pizzas, actually!) together that will be his recipe, and we will have them available for a limited time in the near future!”

TikTok influencer Sniping for Dom also gushed over Berwick Pizza’s savory pies like the Buffalo Chicken Dip. (Berwick Pizza)
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