UPZS Announces Pizza Fusion Domestic Expansion Strategy; Will Open Next Pizza Fusion Franchise in Charlotte, NC



Unique Pizza and Subs Corporation (PINKSHEETS: UPZS) has announced Pizza Fusion’s domestic expansion strategy, beginning with a new Pizza Fusion franchise in Charlotte, NC to be opened this fall. The Company announced on August 29 it had signed a Definitive Agreement to acquire privately held Pizza Fusion Holdings, with closing expected in the fourth quarter.

With its proven success throughout its initial phase of development, Pizza Fusion’s very Unique natural, organic and eco-friendly restaurants lead the industry in this powerful and inevitable trend towards a healthier lifestyle and planet. Pizza Fusion’s next phase of development calls for accelerating U.S. expansion to capitalize on its hugely popular and highly acclaimed offering. This strategy utilizes sophisticated analysis of prospective new markets and thorough qualification of potential franchisees — to capitalize on rapidly growing consumer demand and increasing levels of interest from potential franchisees.

Accordingly, UPZS is announcing it will open its 14th U.S. Pizza Fusion franchise in Charlotte, North Carolina this fall, a city widely considered a model mid American city that hosted the recent Democratic National Convention. UPZS plans to announce several more new Pizza Fusion franchise agreements throughout the U.S. in the weeks and months ahead.

Under the Pizza Fusion standard franchise agreement, it receives a $30,000 franchise fee upon opening, with recurring cash flows from royalty fees of six percent and marketing fees of three percent of revenue.

“Our domestic expansion strategy has now been proven and perfected over the past two years,” said Vaughan Lazar, CEO and co-founder of Pizza Fusion. “Through extensive research and demographic analysis, similar to that of a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, we have determined the optimal locations for further expansion of our franchise. Riding the crest of surging consumer demand for fresh, natural organic food, we are excited to be growing organically in an otherwise difficult economy that is seeing many of the 20th century concept restaurant chains stagnating or closing outlets.

“With the high level of prominence Pizza Fusion has gained, we are also seeing a surge in interest from well qualified franchisees. We enthusiastically seek to partner with entrepreneurs that share our passion for providing fresh, organic healthy food through an eco-friendly franchise model.”

“Consumer demand for fresh, organic food is a macro trend with unlimited potential as exemplified by the popularity of specialty grocer Whole Foods and Annie Food’s Homegrown prepared meals to name just a couple,” continued Mr. Lazar. “Seventy-five percent of U.S. families buy organic products at least occasionally and sales in organic categories increased 9.5 percent year-over-year between 2009 and 2011. With pizza store sales of $36 billion annually, the Pizza Fusion franchise model has enormous potential.”

James Vowler, Unique Pizza and Subs President & CEO, stated, “Vaughan, Randy Romano (President of Pizza Fusion), the Fusion employees and all of the Fusion franchisees have done all the hard work: developing their award winning, organic and all natural recipes; proving and perfecting food costs and profit margins; designing and building eco-friendly store locations; setting up and implementing a national vendors distribution network that carries all of their high end proprietary organic items necessary for the franchisees’ success; developed and proven successful marketing strategies; built a network of loyal customers and industry correspondents nationwide; and most of all they have proven they are an industry leader through their customer popularity, economic success and numerous awards. Now the real fun begins! The opening of the Charlotte store is the beginning of a new phase for Pizza Fusion as it rolls out its aggressive domestic expansion strategy.”

New Charlotte NC Franchise

Bob and Leigh Anderson are the owners of Pizza Fusion Charlotte. This father-daughter partnership has over 35 years of combined business experience. Bob honed his entrepreneurial skills as the founder and owner of an insurance company he successful built for ten years. He later sold the company to USI, the ninth largest insurance broker in the U.S. and a wholly owned subsidiary of Goldman Sachs. Today, Bob is Senior Vice President at USI where he specializes in employee benefit offerings. He graduated from Mars Hill College with a BS in Psychology. Leigh, his daughter, brings 19 years of food service and restaurant management expertise to their new franchise. She recently relocated to Charlotte, from Nashville, Tennessee, to oversee the restaurant’s operations as General Manager of Pizza Fusion Charlotte. Bob & Leigh signed an agreement for the option to open two additional locations in North Carolina.

The new 1,700 square-foot Pizza Fusion Charlotte will be located around the corner from Trader Joe’s in the Metropolitan shopping plaza, at 1055 Metropolitan Avenue.

“I’m looking forward to introducing Pizza Fusion to Charlotte residents. Its unmatched approach to homemade cooking — using superior quality ingredients — creates unmatched freshness and flavor in every bite,” Bob Leigh, co-owner of Pizza Fusion Charlotte, states. “I find great satisfaction in running a restaurant that makes food the way I do in the comfort of my home. There’s something to be said for using your hands to make fresh, delicious food from high quality ingredients; not cheap ingredients that arrive pre-made or frozen.”

Founded in 2007, Boca Raton, FL-based Pizza Fusion is an all-natural pizza restaurant chain offering fresh, natural, and healthier foods at its eco-friendly locations worldwide. With its natural, 75 percent organic menu and eco-friendly franchise concept — it was named the number 19 pizza brand nationally out of 250 brands short listed for consideration.

The restaurant maintains high standards for eco-friendly operations and procedures, building its locations according to LEED certification standards. The restaurant serves up a three-course menu for lunch and dinner, featuring a delicious assortment of fresh salads, appetizers, artisan pizzas, sandwiches, and desserts. For more information on Pizza Fusion or to view its menu, visit http://www.pizzafusion.com. Follow Pizza Fusion on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pizzafusion and Twitter: @PizzaFusion.

Unique Pizza and Subs Corporation engages in franchising, conversions, and ownership and operation of pizza and sub shops. Its highly cost effective franchise business model enables the prolific roll up and rebranding of existing “mom & pop” pizza restaurants under the Unique Pizza and Subs brand. In August 2012, the Company announced signing a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Pizza Fusion Holdings, the #1 green franchise in North America.