by Dennis Dalman
The new Little Caesar’s pizza place in Sartell is a dream-come-true for its owners, Marty and Dayna Malinen. It has been doing a brisk, steady business ever since it recently opened.
To the Malinens, the new business has the “right feel.” That’s because Marty designed the business, and Dayna was born and raised just blocks from the place – growing up on Sartell Street. Her maiden name was Leyk.
Marty also designed the other Little Caesar’s places he and his wife own and operate – ones in St. Cloud, Brainerd and Willmar.
Many Sartell residents know the Malinens well because they’d opened the Little Caesar’s in 2007 in the mall at 2nd Street near Pinecone Road in Sartell. They had leased that place for almost seven years. Their newly built business is located just west of the Sartell Post Office, 135 2nd St. S.
Marty said he is proud of his new place because he owns the lot and the building, and he designed it just the way he wanted it to be: huge windows all along its south side, a very large lobby with benches and a wide-open kitchen where customers can see workers preparing the food. Customers can walk in or use the drive-through window.
The Malinens’ son, John, 37, who lives in Willmar, is – along with his parents – an operator of their four Little Caesar stores.
The Sartell pizza shop employs about two dozen workers.
Little Caesar’s specializes, of course, in reasonably priced pizzas. A current offer is a large pepperoni for only $5. The place also sells Crazy Bread, Cheesy Bread and chicken wings, all of which come in eight varieties.
Marty, who also has a career as a professional piano tuner, said he is most proud of how all of Little Caesar’s ingredients are as fresh as can be. The pizza dough is made right on the premises, and the pizza sauce is made from fresh tomatoes direct from California.
The business hours for the place are from 11 a.m.-10 pm. Mondays-Saturdays; and from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sundays.
Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.