The origins of Domino’s Pizza began in 1960 when Tom Monaghan and his brother James bought a local pizzeria in Ypsilanti, Michigan, named Dominick’s Pizza. The deal was secured by a $75 down payment, and the brothers borrowed $500 to pay for the store. Eight months later, James quit the partnership and traded his half of the business to Tom for a used Volkswagen Beetle. With Tom Monaghan as sole owner of the company, Dominick’s Pizza became Domino’s Pizza. In 1968, a fire destroyed the company headquarters and the commissary. Although Domino’s faced numerous other obstacles in the following years, including a 1975 trademark-infringement lawsuit by Amstar, maker of Domino sugar, the company expanded, and in 1978 the 200th Domino’s franchise opened. In the 1980s, Domino’s decentralized its operations by opening the first international Domino’s in Winnipeg, Canada. In the following years the company expanded even more, and as of June 2006, it has 8,190 stores. Monaghan retired in 1998 but retained a 27% non-controlling stake in the company.
The three dots on a Domino’s Pizza box represent the first three Domino’s stores. Monaghan had planned to add another dot for each new restaurant that opened, but given the rapid rate at which Domino’s opened new stores, that quickly became impractical.