SOURCE: Blaze Pizza

Blaze Pizza

April 17, 2014 11:53 ET

Blaze Fast Fire'd Pizza Adds Boston, Dallas & Phoenix to Expansion Plans

Build-Your-Own Artisanal Pizza Franchisor Grows Pipeline to Over 250 Units in 24 States & Wash. DC

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - Apr 17, 2014) - Blaze Fast Fire'd Pizza, the leader of the rapidly expanding build-your-own pizza category, today announced that it has signed three new area development agreements to open Blaze Pizza franchise restaurants in Boston, Dallas and Phoenix. The fast-casual pizza chain, known for its chef-driven recipes and casually hip restaurants, now has commitments to build 252 franchise units in 24 states and Washington DC. 

Built around the novel idea of making artisanal pizzas both fast and affordable, Blaze Pizza is quickly running out of areas available for franchise development. "Our long-term goal is to build a strong, enduring national brand," said Jim Mizes, president & COO of Blaze Pizza. "To that end, we are partnering with a small group of elite-level multi-unit franchisees to build a concentration of Blaze Pizza restaurants in key markets across the country." To date, the company has announced plans to enter 30 of the country's top 50 markets with additional agreements expected to be announced soon.

The Greater Boston area is being developed by ASAPizza, LLC -- a partnership between David Peterman and Mitch Roberts, co-owners of 34 Panera Bread franchises in Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire. The pair operates one of Panera Bread's larger franchise groups and is consistently ranked among the chain's top franchisees based on operations excellence assessments.

"Blaze Pizza's super-fast, custom-built pizzas are proving to be extremely popular," said Mr. Peterman. "You can really see the guest enthusiasm for this brand when you read the fanatical social media comments and witness the long lines at their restaurants. We did our homework and came away convinced that Boston is going to flip for Blaze Pizza."

The Dallas/Fort Worth metro area is being developed by Saddles Blazin, LLC -- an affiliate of Paradigm Investment Group and led by Don Wollan, Brian Kelley and Greg Hazard. Paradigm and its affiliates own 105 Hardee's, TGI Fridays and Jersey Mike's Subs franchises. Recently, CKE Inc. (parent of Hardee's & Carl's Jr.) recognized Paradigm as its Top Franchisee and twice as its Developer of the Year. 

The Phoenix metro area is being developed by Sajha, LLC -- one of Blaze Pizza's original franchisees that currently operates in Southern California.

About Blaze Pizza

Blaze Pizza uses an interactive assembly-line format that allows guests to customize one of the menu's signature pizzas or create one of their own, choosing from a wide selection of fresh, artisanal ingredients -- all for under $8. The generously sized 11-inch pizzas are then sent to a blazing hot open-flame oven -- the centerpiece of the restaurant -- where dedicated pizzasmiths ensure that the thin-crust pies are "fast-fire'd" in less than 180 seconds. Each restaurant makes its own dough from scratch using a recipe developed by critically-acclaimed Executive Chef Brad Kent ("The Pizza Whisperer"), which requires a 24-hour fermentation period to produce his signature light-as-air, crisp crust.  Blaze Pizza's menu also features signature salads, fresh lemonades, craft beer & wine and house-made S'more Pies. For pizza fans with specific dietary needs, Blaze Pizza offers gluten-free dough and vegan cheese. The prototypical store is 2,400 square-feet with seating for about 60 guests.

Founded in 2011 by Elise and Rick Wetzel (co-founder of Wetzel's Pretzels), the concept is backed by investors including LeBron James, Maria Shriver, Boston Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner and movie producer John Davis. Blaze Pizza currently operates restaurants in Southern California, Chicago, Indianapolis, Detroit and Milwaukee. The company, which has been featured by Zagat, MSNBC, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Good Morning America, has a pipeline of over 250 restaurants being developed by 24 seasoned multi-unit franchisees. This year, Blaze Pizza will expand into several new markets including San Francisco, New York, Boston, Dallas, Miami and Washington DC. For more information, please visit www.blazepizza.com or www.facebook.com/blazepizza.

Blaze Pizza, LLC
35 N. Lake Ave, Suite 710
Pasadena, CA 91101