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The Art of Pizza

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CONCEPT2WATCH

Zpizza
Irvine, Calif.
Founders: Sid Fanarof and Suzie Megrov

President and owner:
Chris Bright
Locations: 100
www.zpizza.com

When Zpizza opened in Laguna Beach, Calif., a quarter-century ago, it was anything but another fast food pizza parlor.

Founders Sid Fanarof and Susie Megrov wanted to do “something creative that contributed to the artistic endeavor of the community, so we made pizza our art,” Faranof says. “We also wanted pizza that was not just tasty, but better for you.”

Thirteen years ago, entrepreneur Chris Bright bought the company with the intent of creating a franchise network. Zpizza is now in 16 states, with plans to open 20 to 25 stores a year going forward.

The menu includes vegan and gluten-free pies. All of the pizzas are made from 100 percent organic wheat flour dough prepared fresh every day, hand-thrown and fire-baked in old-fashioned deck ovens.

Bright says Zpizza “uses certified organic tomato sauce, certified organic flour and organic produce whenever possible.” That creates a second brand differentiator for Zpizza; its pizzas are healthy as well as tasty.

The stores average between 1,100 and 1,500 sq. ft., with the deck oven serving as the focal point of the room; about 70 percent of the sales are for takeout. Décor includes color graphics of vegetables and an image of vegetables with the crusty pizza dough on top.

“What we’ve tried to do is create a better pizza,” says Bright. “Better not just in how they taste, but also better for you.”

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