June 17, 2013 at 10:00 AM EDT
Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza Announces Expansion to Michigan, Ohio, Indiana & Northern California
Built-to-Order Assembly Line Pizza Chain Adds Elite Franchise Groups to Its Growing Developer Network

PASADENA, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 06/17/13 -- Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza, the leader in the fast-casual build-your-own pizza category, today announced that two elite-level multi-unit franchise groups have signed agreements to develop eight stores in Detroit & Grand Rapids, MI, seven stores in Columbus, OH, six stores in Indianapolis and 10 stores in the East Bay & South Bay regions of Northern California. These most recent franchise agreements further expand Blaze Pizza's growing national footprint which includes the West Coast (California), the Northeast (New York, New Jersey & Connecticut), the Midwest (Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin & Ohio) and the Southeast (Florida). Additional markets in these four key development areas are expected to be announced soon.

Detroit, Grand Rapids, Indianapolis and Columbus are being developed by Blaze Midwest, Inc. Partners Randy Stuck, Rodney Walker, Steven Stuck and James Sutika currently operate nine TGI Friday's and 42 Taco Bell restaurants in the Michigan and Ohio markets. "We believe that fast-casual pizza is the next big category and we want to participate," said Randy Stuck. "We've chosen to partner with Blaze Pizza because they've done a great job building a strong, scalable brand that is a perfect fit for experienced multi-unit operators like us." Blaze Midwest's first Blaze Pizza restaurant is scheduled to open this fall in Royal Oak, MI.

The East Bay and South Bay regions of the Northern California Bay Area are being developed by Baker Boys Consulting, Inc. The Bakers currently operate more than 30 nationally recognized QSR restaurants throughout California. The Bakers also executed a second franchise development agreement to open five Blaze Pizzas in Northern San Diego. "Fast casual represents one of the fastest growing categories of the restaurant industry and we are excited to work with Blaze Pizza, who is the leader in fast casual pizza," said Jason Baker, President of Baker Boys Consulting, Inc. "After my first visit to Blaze Pizza, I immediately recognized that Executive Chef Brad Kent had developed the best dough, sourced top-quality ingredients and created signature pizzas that set Blaze Pizza apart from other pizza concepts."

About Blaze Pizza

Blaze Pizza uses an assembly line format (similar to Chipotle Mexican GrillĀ®) to create artisan pizzas at lightning fast speed -- all for about $7.00. Each Blaze Pizza restaurant makes its own dough from scratch using a recipe that requires a 24-hour fermentation period to produce its signature light-as-air, crisp crust. Guests watch as each perfectly proofed dough ball is pressed into a generous 12-inch crust. Next, they travel down the assembly line to "co-create" a signature pizza or design one of their own -- with over 40 artisanal toppings to choose from. Pizzas are "fast-fire'd" in a blazing-hot oven and ready in a scant 120 seconds. 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.

A creation of Elise and Rick Wetzel (founder of Wetzel's Pretzels), the concept is backed by investors including Maria Shriver, movie producer John Davis and Boston Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner, and includes the talents of highly acclaimed Executive Chef Bradford Kent. Blaze Pizza's seasoned executive team brings fast-casual and quick-serve restaurant experience from numerous concepts including Buffalo Wild Wings, Freebirds World Burrito, California Pizza Kitchen, Panda Express, Jamba Juice and Carl's Jr. The company, which Forbes.com named a "Hot New Restaurant Chain from an Established Brand," is registered to sell franchises in all 50 states and is currently accepting applications to develop franchise stores across the country.

For more information, please visit www.blazepizza.com or www.facebook.com/blazepizza.

Blaze Pizza, LLC
530 S. Lake Ave, Suite 280
Pasadena, CA 91101

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Media Contact:
Joshua Levitt
Morgan Marketing & Public Relations, LLC
(949) 261-2216
joshua@mmpr.biz

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