LeBron James Invests in Franchise Group that Plans to Open 10 Build-Your-Own Pizza Restaurants
Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, the largest and fastest growing build-your-own pizza chain, today announced that it will soon be entering the Miami area with three locations set to open over the next year. The company’s first area location will be in Fort Lauderdale followed by a second location in Boca Raton. The third location in the metro Miami area will be announced soon.
Scheduled to open this fall, Blaze Pizza in Fort Lauderdale will be in the Uptown Centre (6334 N. Andrews Ave.), located across the street from the Cypress Creek Station, and will feature a patio with over 50 seats for outdoor dining. The new Blaze Pizza in Boca Raton will be a 2,300 square foot restaurant located at the Fifth Avenue Shops (2146 N. Federal Highway) near Publix. Both restaurants will feature Blaze Pizza’s signature comfortably hip, urban design.
The expansion of Blaze Pizza into South Florida is being done by an investment group that will be led by Levy Family Partners. Levy Family Partners was created by restaurant entrepreneur Larry Levy, founder of Levy Restaurants. In addition to the 10 store franchise development agreement in Florida, the group will develop Blaze Pizza in the Chicago market. The investment group includes NBA All Star LeBron James.
Blaze Pizza uses an interactive ordering format that allows guests to customize one of the menu’s signature pizzas or create one of their own, choosing from a wide selection of fresh, artisanal ingredients – all for under $8. The generously sized personal pizzas are then sent to a blazing hot open-flame oven – the centerpiece of the restaurant – where dedicated pizzasmiths ensure that the thin-crust pies are “fast-fire’d” in less than 180 seconds. Each restaurant makes its own dough from scratch using a recipe developed by critically-acclaimed Executive Chef Brad Kent (“The Pizza Whisperer”), which requires a 24-hour fermentation period to produce his signature light-as-air, crisp crust. For pizza fans with specific dietary needs, Blaze Pizza offers gluten-free dough and vegan cheese. The restaurants will also offer house-made S’more Pies and a selection of wine and craft beers.
“We were inspired to create a fast-casual pizza concept that offers exceptional quality at lightning fast speed,” said Jim Mizes, President and COO of Blaze Pizza. “If you think about it, there really hasn’t been a good way to enjoy a quality pizza without the wait. Now there is. We believe this will be a game-changer.”
Founded in 2011 by Elise and Rick Wetzel (co-founder of Wetzel’s Pretzels), the concept is backed by investors including LeBron James, Maria Shriver, Boston Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner and movie producer John Davis. Blaze Pizza currently operates restaurants throughout California and the Midwest – including Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Milwaukee and Louisville. In the back-half of this year, Blaze Pizza will open 35 new locations while expanding into the metropolitan areas of New York, Miami, Washington DC, New Orleans, Knoxville, Raleigh-Durham, Boise, Rapid City and Columbus. The company, which has been featured by Zagat, MSNBC, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Good Morning America, has a pipeline of over 280 restaurants being developed corporately and by 29 seasoned multi-unit franchisees. For more information, please visit www.blazepizza.com or www.facebook.com/blazepizza.