Entrepreneurs who introduced Seattle coffee culture to the United Kingdom are bringing their latest concept “home”
MOD Pizza, the pioneer of fast casual pizza, today announced it has signed a joint venture agreement with Sir Charles Dunstone and his long-standing business partner, Roger Taylor, to bring MOD Pizza to the United Kingdom, spreading the MOD culture into its first international market. MOD co-founders Scott and Ally Svenson, who revolutionized the United Kingdom’s coffee culture when they launched Seattle Coffee Company in the early 1990’s, will work with Sir Charles and Roger to introduce MOD Pizza’s unique purpose-led culture to the United Kingdom during the first half of 2016, followed by a rapid national rollout.
Sir Charles Dunstone, the entrepreneur who founded Carphone Warehouse and TalkTalk Telecom and is Chairman of TalkTalk and Dixons Carphone, will be Chairman of MOD United Kingdom. Dunstone, who possesses deep expertise developing successful consumer companies in the market, introduced Five Guys Burgers & Fries to the United Kingdom in 2013, and currently operates 30 locations of the American better burger concept across the UK, with plans to open its first location in France.
“We are thrilled to partner with Sir Charles and Roger to launch MOD in the United Kingdom, a place that inspired much of the spirit behind the MOD brand,” said Scott Svenson, co-founder and CEO of MOD Pizza. “The most important factor in choosing our first international partner was finding someone who shares our values and will cultivate the MOD culture. Sir Charles and Roger not only believe in MOD’s people-first approach, they are committed to using the business to make a positive social impact. With their unique combination of passion and experience, we couldn’t imagine better partners to help bring MOD to the United Kingdom.”
Sir Charles said: “With its compelling combination of superior food quality, value, speed and its culture of leveraging the business as a platform to do good, I believe MOD will translate extremely well across the United Kingdom. As one of the fastest growing food concepts in the United States, I see a tremendous opportunity for MOD to disrupt the UK pizza scene with its ‘super fast’ pizza experience.”
While living in the United Kingdom for more than a decade, Scott and Ally created and sold Seattle Coffee Company to Starbucks in 1998 and helped launch and build the Carluccio’s brand. After moving home to Seattle, they founded MOD Pizza in November 2008, combining inspiration from the energy and attitude of the original Mod movement in London with their love for Italian street style pizza and the belief that a business can succeed by putting people first.
Ally Svenson explained, “Launching MOD in the United Kingdom feels, in many ways, like we are bringing it home. While we are very proud of the incredible pizza that we serve, the MOD movement is about so much more. We judge our success not by the number of stores we open, but the number of lives we can impact, which is why we are so excited to continue our growth. Our product may be pizza, but our purpose is people.”
As MOD continues rapidly expanding throughout the United States and internationally, it remains focused on spreading the MOD culture into new communities by offering great jobs, excellent benefits, and career growth opportunities, all while giving back to its employees (the MOD Squad) and the communities it serves. To date, MOD has supported over 60 non-profit organizations with a focus on at-risk youth and families in need. MOD Pizza will reach 2,500 MOD Squaders and approximately 100 stores by the end of 2015.
Seattle-based MOD Pizza is the pioneer of the fast casual made-to-order pizza segment, founded in 2008 by entrepreneurs Scott and Ally Svenson. MOD’s individual artisan-style pizzas are made on demand, allowing customers to create their own pizzas and salads, using fresh-pressed dough and signature sauces at a fixed price regardless of the number of toppings. Pizzas are hand-cooked in an 800 degree oven in less than three minutes and salads are individually hand-tossed for each customer. The menu is rounded out with handspun milkshakes, house-made lemonades and iced teas, and local craft beers and wine.
With 68 restaurants open across 12 states, MOD is committed to creating not just a cool place to eat, but an inspired place to work. The company has been recognized as one of the “Top 50 Breakout Brands” by Nation’s Restaurant News, named one of the “Fastest Growing Private Companies in America” by Inc. Magazine, ranked as a “Fastest Growing Private Company” by the Puget Sound Business Journal and named one of “Washington’s Best Work Places” by the Puget Sound Business Journal. www.modpizza.com The MOD Difference Video
Charles Dunstone founded Carphone Warehouse in 1989 with £6,000 of savings. In 2000, the company listed on The London Stock Exchange and became the largest independent mobile phone retailer with some 2,400 stores in the UK and across Europe. In 2014, it merged with Dixons Group to create Dixons Carphone, In 2002, Carphone established TalkTalk which helped change the UK’s telecoms market. In 2010, having become one of the UK’s leading telecoms companies, it demerged from Carphone Warehouse to become an independent company. Charles is Chairman of both Dixons Carphone and TalkTalk.
Roger Taylor joined Carphone Warehouse in 1999 as CFO, becoming Chief Executive in 2010 until 2013, when he became Deputy Chairman. He was also a Director of TalkTalk Group. Today, he is Charles Dunstone’s business partner in Freston Ventures, a private company, which Charles and Roger use for personal investments, including their joint venture with MOD Pizza in the UK. Among other investments made by Freston is its joint venture with Five Guys burgers