SOURCE: MOD Pizza

MOD Pizza

April 05, 2011 12:51 ET

MOD Pizza Announces Fourth Location

New Brand Poised for Growth; Owners See Large Market Opportunity

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - April 5, 2011) - MOD Pizza announced today the opening of their fourth location, in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood. As with all MOD Pizza locations, the site is designed with the community in mind, blending with the unique personalities of each neighborhood they serve. This new location marks the fourth store opened by in just over two years -- a growth plan that has been carefully orchestrated to test markets with different demographics including downtown, suburban, university and now a dense urban area. Based on early success, and with the lessons learned from each market, MOD Pizza has begun to develop a second phase growth plan.

The MOD Pizza concept was conceived by a group of notable Seattle entrepreneurs known for building successful and innovative brands that were inspired by their passions. Founders Scott and Ally Svenson started Seattle Coffee Company in London in 1995, growing the brand from 3 to 65 stores in less than 24 months -- while introducing England to the world of made-to-order espresso drinks and the coffee bar culture. In 1998 Seattle Coffee Company was acquired by Starbucks Coffee Company as its entry into the European market. Scott Svenson remained on as President of Starbucks UK, and subsequently President of Starbucks Europe, during which time he authored the company's European Strategic Plan. Michael Klebeck, another successful Seattle entrepreneur, played a key role in developing the brand. As co-founder of Top Pot Doughnuts, Michael introduced Seattle to hand-forged doughnuts, developing a dedicated fan base while growing Top Pot to five Seattle area locations.

MOD has a seasoned group of advisors who share their vision for growth. These advisors include: Lindsey Schwartz (President and CEO, Schwartz Brothers Restaurants), Adam Brotman (VP Digital Ventures, Starbucks), Jim Alling (COO T-Mobile, formerly President of U.S. and International Operations, Starbucks) and Paul Twohig (COO Dunkin' Donuts, formerly Sr. VP Retail Operations, Starbucks and COO of Panera Bread). Twohig, who was with Starbucks during their acquisition of Seattle Coffee Company, reflects the excitement among the board, "Personally, I see many parallels between the growth of MOD and what I saw with Seattle Coffee Company. We feel this is an exciting opportunity and are working hard to prepare and execute a thoughtful but rapid growth plan. We feel the market is ready."

The MOD Pizza concept is unique in its combination of thin crust, artisan-style pizza that is made-to-order and served 'fast' in a stylized environment -- all at an incredibly affordable price. Co-founder Ally Svenson explains, "Chipotle has done a great job tapping into this niche with Mexican fare. We see the same opportunity with pizza. Our four very different locations have shown that this concept appeals to a broad demographic. We tested markets in a similar fashion in the UK during the growth of Seattle Coffee Company and as each store succeeded, we realized that we had a sustainable business model."

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