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Baltimore Business Journal: Your Pie Plans To Expand In Baltimore

Atlanta-based Your Pie is looking to expand to the Baltimore area soon as the build-your-own pizza pie craze takes shape.

Your Pie is hoping to add 10 locations within the next couple of years. Just this week, the pizza chain opened its 33rd unit in the country and is now setting its sights onto Maryland, according to Vice President of Development Ken Caldwell. The locations will be franchised, but with an individual and localized feel.

“We allow a lot of local flexibility in our markets,” he said. “We have craft beer in every market with a focus on local beers and we like our stores to be a reflection of our franchisee’s personality. They can connect with the community and become part of the community.”

Caldwell also said the company will entertain a single location operator as well as ownership groups with multi-unit aspirations.

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Your Pie’s Customizable, Artisan Pizzas Create Strong Customer Loyalty

There’s no shortage of restaurants and chains competing for customers’ business in the pizza industry. The segment is more crowded than ever, and with billions of dollars spent on the product annually, it’s easy to see why brands want a slice of the market share. But consumers are increasingly choosing to spend their money on a specific type of pizza—craft.

Your Pie is at the forefront of the booming craft pizza movement. The brand’s unique, down-the-line concept has been changing the game since its first restaurant opened its doors in Athens, Georgia in 2008, and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down. In fact, Your Pie is currently experiencing impressive growth—same store sales for the brand are up 8.86-percent over last year.

“We couldn’t have asked for a stronger first half of the year,” said Ken Caldwell, vice president of development for Your Pie. “Your Pie brings something fresh and different to the table—there isn’t another fast casual concept out there that can match our level of quality or service. That’s why customers come back to our restaurants time and time again.”

That heightened level of customer loyalty—which is reflected in the brand’s sales—isn’t the only major milestone Your Pie achieved in the first two quarters of 2016. The brand also opened its doors in six new communities, and signed agreements for 16 more stores. That brings the number of new Your Pie locations in development to 49.

“Your Pie brings innovation to the table in an industry that can sometimes seem like it’s only offering more of the same. Our commitment to serving customized, artisan pies to every customer that walks through our doors automatically gives us a leg up on the competition,” Caldwell said. “Your Pie’s pizzas aren’t just delicious, affordable and made fast—they’re authentic.”

A perfect example of that authenticity at work is Your Pie’s craft pie series. The brand offers a variety of seasonal pizzas throughout the year, and pairs them with a dessert and craft brew to make an excellent dining experience. Right now, customers can indulge in Your Pie’s famous Peach Prosciutto pie, which is made with ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses along with fresh sliced peaches, chopped basil and a house-made honey balsamic glaze. The pizza is currently being served with Italian butter pecan gelato and a beer from Boulevard Brewing.

By continuing to create the best craft pizzas in the industry, Your Pie will distance itself from the rest of the pack. The brand’s superior quality and service isn’t going unnoticed by consumers or prospective local business owners, meaning its growth potential is unlimited.

“We’re going to build on the momentum that we’ve experienced so far this year as we move into the rest of 2016. We’re thrilled with our current same-store sales numbers, but we’re even more excited to continue this trend of outperforming ourselves in the months and years to come,” said Caldwell.

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Considering Joining The Booming Fast-Casual Pizza Franchise Industry? Look No Further Than Your Pie

When Drew French was a kid, he wasn’t fond of sharing his pizza—and who is, really? After all, anchovies and black olives aren’t for everyone.

Like every pizza lover, French enjoyed the beauty in savoring a perfect, one-of-a-kind pizza—one that’s artfully tailored to his personal tastes. Even today, French believes that everyone deserves their pizza their way.

But it wasn’t until he took a trip to Italy that French realized he could turn that culinary vision into something everyone could enjoy. In 2006, Drew French was visiting his wife’s family in Ischia, a small volcanic island located 19 miles from the city of Naples, Italy. It was there that he fell in love with the region’s use of brick ovens and the perfectly-crisp doughs and smoky, earthy flavors that came out of it. And it was there that he learned how truly fresh ingredients can make or break any dish.

Intoxicated by the aromas of Ischia’s brick ovens, he sketched out the concept for a build-it-yourself pizza concept on a napkin. And therein lies the origin ofYour Pie. His vision was simple—combine quality and variety with the rustic flavors only brick ovens could deliver. And not only would he strive to make a great, innovative pizza, he would deliver them to customers quickly, too.

“Nobody was thinking brick oven for fast-casual,” French said. “That’s what makes Your Pie unique, and so consistently good.”

In 2008, at 24, French opened his first store in Athens, Georgia. Within two years, he opened two additional locations nearby in the University of Georgia’s hometown. Nearly eight years later, French’s concept has taken the industry by storm. People realized that you really can have it all—convenience and a superior pizza. Today, Your Pie has emerged as a key player within the booming fast-casual pizza industry.

“There’s an art to making pizza, and we’re committed to the artisan approach and customization. I believe that Your Pie will maintain a competitive advantage over everyone else out there making pizza—whether in the fast-casual or traditional space—by doing what we do best. We just do pizza better than anyone else,” French said.

Based on Your Pie’s momentum last year, it’s clear that people really are hungry for a better pizza. In 2015 alone, the brand signed 31 new deals in locations throughout the country, including South Carolina, Oklahoma, Florida, Alabama, Texas and Ohio. With two new openings already under their belt in 2016, Your Pie is showing no signs of slowing down—the brand is aiming to open 20 locations by the year’s end, which would ultimately boost their total number of nation-wide units to 50. Markets of interest include Charlotte, Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina; Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina; and Tampa and Orlando, Florida.

Because Your Pie is different than a lot of other pizza places out there these days, Ken Caldwell, Your Pie’s vice president of development, believes that the brand’s true dedication to the art of pizza-making will catch the attention of potential business owners, too. But beyond having the chance to become an ambassador for an emerging brand, Caldwell also believes that Your Pie offers a sound investment opportunity for someone looking to make a lasting impact in their community.

Opting for smart growth to preserve the quality of the brand, Caldwell’s goal is to identify multi-unit operators to join the franchise system and scale from the regional base already in place. With a total investment averaging $311,750 to $475,105, a Your Pie franchise includes pre-opening development assistance for site selection and analysis, lease negotiation, architectural layout and restaurant design, comprehensive restaurant build out, four weeks of training and full marketing and communication support.

Ultimately, Your Pie aspires to be a globally admired brand. The path to that growth runs through French’s kitchen, where in addition to an unwavering dedication to creating new combinations of pizzas, the emphasis is on constant improvement and raising the bar on quality fast-casual dining.

“Pizza makers talk about using the ‘best-quality’ ingredients,” French said. “But you’ve eaten those pizzas, and you know their quality standards. Our thinking is that quality is our only standard. At Your Pie, we want everyone to have exactly the pizza they’d like to eat, and we want each pie to provide a great experience. No matter how you look at it, the craft pizza business is set to explode. And Your Pie is ready to fight its way to the top of this popular category.”

To learn more about franchising with Your Pie, click here.

Your Pie Georgia Franchisees Leave Corporate World To Follow Dreams Of Owning Their Own Business

Morgan and Lisa Maclellan fell in love with Your Pie after discovering the fast-casual pizza chain while attending the University of Georgia in 2008. The delectable pies the brand offered were one of the highlights of their many visits, but they enjoyed the comradery and atmosphere the brand presented.

After they graduated college in 2010, Morgan started working in claims and business analytics, and Lisa worked at the Arby’s corporate office as a product marketing manager. But the married couple was looking for a new industry to get into and decided to pursue their lifelong dream of owning a business. Pairing that dream with their passion for Your Pie, they opened their first franchise near Perimeter Mall in the Dunwoody neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia in 2015.

“I could tell that the people who worked at Your Pie loved serving the customers and that was something we were looking for in a franchise,” Morgan said. “We met with some other franchise concepts, but the Your Pie team was so passionate about what they were doing. It was contagious. We did our research and I knew it would be a challenging, yet profitable investment.”

The two work as a cohesive team, with Morgan running the main operations of the business and Lisa concentrates on the marketing and payroll. One of the key reasons why they decided to invest in the brand is because they wanted to provide their community with a better pizza option. Lisa said Your Pie’s training helped them understand the business aspects of running a franchise and it became clear to them they made the right decision.

“Serving the community was an important factor in our decision and we love bringing people together with food,” Lisa said. “We didn’t have experience in the food service industry before, but with the training Your Pie provided and the franchise framework, we were able to thrive.”

Lisa said they want their location to become a staple of the community and Your Pie has allowed them to do that. They have implemented a few of their own choices to help make the store their own, including weekly craft beer specials, trivia nights and Morgan even helped reconstruct their patio to help provide a more comfortable setting for customers.

Your Pie offers potential investors an unprecedented business opportunity. The brand supplies potential investors with a thorough training program to educate them about the business and a corporate staff that can help answer any questions they may have. Entrepreneurs can expect their investment to range from $311,750 to $475,105, excluding real estate. Your Pie offers potential franchisees the chance to invest in their future, be their own boss and be a part of a successful industry.

Morgan said the two have enjoyed their time with the brand and are now looking for a second location for another unit.

“As a franchise owner, every day is different and I never thought in my wildest dreams I’d be anchoring furniture or running a business,” Morgan said. “But there is a fun diversity that comes with owning your own business. Your Pie has been tremendous with helping us and we can’t thank them enough.”

For more franchising information about Your Pie, click here.

Your Pie Franchisee Credits Support From Brand As Key To His Success

Jeff Rhoades has always been drawn to franchising and food, but it wasn’t until he learned more about Your Pie that he figured out he could combine both of best worlds. Rhoades signed a six-store agreement with the brand, and he currently has two units open: one in Norfolk, Virginia and one in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Before he became a Your Pie franchisee, Rhoades was working as a sales rep for medical equipment. He was still working in this field when he began researching franchise investment opportunities.

Rhoades said he was looking for a concept that would allow him to stay on the East Coast and fast-casual restaurants caught his attention. He had investigated a number of different franchise concepts, but just didn’t feel comfortable with any of them. With Your Pie, he felt as if the brand not only paid attention to his needs, but encouraged him to bring his own ideas to the table.

“During my initial franchise search, I met with a number of different concepts and just didn’t feel like they were all that interested in me. That couldn’t have been more different with Your Pie, as they listened to my ideas and really seemed like they wanted me on the team,” Rhoades said. “They really are the total package, and I love the different aspects of the concept. The pizza is great, I love the gelato and salads and the kid’s items are great. I also love how they appreciate craft beer.”

Rhoades has made his franchises his own—he has used the successful Your Pie business model and infused a personal touch, such as having 20 beer taps on hand and a growler program unlike one Your Pie has ever executed before. He also has a mobile pizza oven that he uses for community events and parties.

Your Pie is the originator of the fast-casual, brick-oven, down-the-line personal pizza category. The concept of Your Pie began in May 2006 when founder Drew French was inspired to bring authentic pizza to the States while on his honeymoon in Italy. Visiting his wife’s family on the island of Ischia, Drew fell in love with the brick oven style of baking pizza, and the rest of the Your Pie concept grew from that experience.

Your Pie offers potential investors an unprecedented business opportunity. The brand supplies prospective franchisees with a thorough training program to get them acclimated with the business and a corporate staff that can help answer any questions they may have. In order to become a Your Pie franchisee, entrepreneurs can expect their investment to range from $311,750 to $475,105, excluding real estate costs. Your Pie offers entrepreneurs the chance to be their own boss, invest in their future and be part of a successful industry.

Rhoades recently opened his Virginia Beach location in March and is looking to get started on his third store. He said the Your Pie team has helped him achieve success, and he’s forever thankful.

“Your Pie has really got some great people involved. I wouldn’t have signed a six-store deal with the brand if I didn’t have the full confidence of the people behind the concept,” Rhoades said. “You’re not left to figuring the business out on your own, and they give you the flexibility to try new things. It’s a great concept and anyone would be lucky to join.”

For more franchising information about Your Pie, click here.

Your Pie Celebrates 8th Annual Pi Day On March 14th

In mathematical circles Pi Day celebrates everything related to the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, but for Your Pie, the originator of the down-the-line pizza category, it’s an important day for pizza lovers, too.

This year, on Monday, March 14th, Your Pie’s 28 locations throughout 10 states will hold their 8th annual celebration of Pi(e) Day. In honor of pi (or π), a.k.a. the number that gives pizza its glorious shape, the brand wants to recognize one key element that has helped fuel their success since their inception in 2008—their current and future guests.

While pi has been calculated to over one trillion digits beyond its decimal point, and continues infinitely without repetition or pattern, most of us know it as 3.14. And in order to pay homage to this irrational number in their own unique and “tasty” way, Your Pie will offer $3.14 pizzas, $3.14 pints of craft beer and $3.14 combos for every customer that walks through their doors.

According to Your Pie Founder Drew French, this is one of the biggest days of the year to give thanks to their incredibly devoted customers who have helped shape the brand into what it is today. “This is our way of thanking them for their loyalty while at the same time, attracting new customers who will want to come see what all the excitement is about,” said French in a recent press release.

Franchisees of the brand also appreciate the holiday as well as it has become one the company’s biggest days of the year, with sales increasing by 700-1000 percent compared to an average day in the previous three years of the promotion.

This year, to raise even more awareness, the brand is introducing another incentive—Your Pie swag giveaways. By snapping a picture and sharing their Pi(e) Day experience on social media with #YourPieDay, customers will have the chance to win Pi(e) Dye-branded t-shirts and a Your Pi(e) Yetti Tundra 65 cooler. The brand will also award $500 to the store that gets the most #YourPieDay participation.

But while pi is a mathematical constant, this deal will only be around for one day at participating locations. For more on the one-day celebration, and to find the nearest Your Pie location, visit click here.

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