Blaze Pizza a Success in Irvine, Will Open More Locations

Robin Fenchel September 21, 2012

Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza opened in Irvine to much success, and now the pizza pioneer says they will take their show on the road. They have plans to open stores in 32 more states and have already secured the franchise rights. Blaze Pizza is a fast-casual pizza concept that uses the assembly-line process that is similar to Chipotle to churn out pies quickly.

Before they roll out around the U.S., the company says they plan to build a footprint of stores across California. These will be a combination of both company-owned and franchise locations. The Irvine location, the company’s first, opened to rave reviews and continues to see long lines at both lunch and dinner time by Irvine home owners. The concept was created by Elise and Rick Wetzel, founders of Wetzel’s Pretzels, who will open the company’s second location in Pasadena next month. They say plans for a third location on the Westside of LA are already underway as well.

Many high-profile names are associated with the pizza company, including Executive Chef Bradford Kent from LA’s Olio Pizzeria and Cafe, Maria Shriver, movie producer John Davis, and Boston Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner. Other west coast locations they are targeting include Los Angles, San Diego, San Francisco, Portland, Phoenix, Denver, and Salt Lake City. Adds Elise Wetzel, “We’ve received a tremendous amount of interest in the concept and are pleased to be able to now move forward strategically with franchise expansion. Our plan is to selectively identify those franchise candidates who we are confident can execute successfully in this category, and work together to develop Blaze into a national brand.”

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