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MOD Pizza Announces Significant Funding and Expansion Into Three New Markets

San Francisco Bay Area, Phoenix and Houston Next Steps in Nationwide Expansion

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwired - May 07, 2014) - MOD Pizza announced today that it has successfully raised over $15 million from private investors to support an accelerated expansion of the brand. In addition, the company announced that it will be opening stores in three new markets this summer -- the San Francisco Bay Area, Phoenix and Houston -- along with adding new locations in Seattle and Los Angeles. MOD plans to open seven new stores by the end of August, bringing the total number of MOD locations to 23. The company has a significant pipeline of additional openings planned for this fall -- specific details on the fall openings will be shared later this year.

The following locations are slated for opening by the end of August 2014:

  • San Jose, California, July 2014
  • North Hollywood, California, July 2014 
  • Phoenix, Arizona -- 2 stores, July and August 2014 
  • Houston, Texas, August 2014
  • Newbury Park (LA), California, August 2014
  • Maple Valley, Washington, August 2014

"As we begin to introduce the MOD brand to new markets across the US, we feel it is important to build a significant base of company-owned stores," explained Scott Svenson, co-founder and CEO. "We are a culture driven business, and opening a significant number of company stores is the best way for us to refine the process for extending the MOD culture into new markets. We are thrilled to have attracted the capital required to accelerate our growth and build the foundations for our expansion across the US."

The current funding was provided by existing shareholders and a high caliber group of value-add private investors, many of whom have extensive industry experience. The total capital raised to date by MOD now exceeds $26 million. 

"The team has invested over five years preparing to turn MOD into a national brand. Building a people-centered culture that will differentiate the MOD experience, while introducing the habits of operational excellence and putting in place a best-in-class team of executives, advisors and shareholders takes time," shared Jim Alling, MOD shareholder and board member, former President of Starbucks and current Chief Operating Officer of T-Mobile. "It has been a pleasure to watch the MOD team as they have systematically prepared MOD for the exciting period of growth that lies ahead."

"The experience people have come to expect when they step into a MOD is what will set us apart as we grow," explained Scott Svenson. "MOD is about so much more than just great pizza. We look forward to making our own unique mark on the fast casual sector as we expand across the country."

About MOD Pizza

MOD pioneered the "build your own pizza" concept in 2008 and currently operates 16 company-owned stores in Washington, Oregon and California. Founded by Scott and Ally Svenson, MOD was inspired by the couple's love of Italian street-style pizza, their desire for authentic, affordable and fast dining options for their busy family and the idea that a great company could be built around people. The Svensons bring their experience from building two highly successful concepts -- Seattle Coffee Company and Carluccio's. They launched Seattle Coffee Co in London in 1995, growing the brand to 65 company-owned stores before being acquired by Starbucks in 1998 after which Scott assumed the role of President, Starbucks Europe. In 1999, they co-founded Carluccio's, an award-winning Italian deli-café concept that went public in the UK in 2005. MOD's team of advisors and executives bring additional experience from iconic brands such as Starbucks, Apple, Panera, Disney, T-Mobile, Dunkin Donuts, Qdoba, McDonald's and Schwartz Brothers Restaurants.

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 Nations Restaurant News and ranked as a "Fastest Growing Company" and "Best Places to Work" by the Puget Sound Business Journal.

MOD's artisan-style pizzas are Made-On-Demand (MOD), using organic fresh-pressed dough and signature sauces. Customers can create their own pizzas and salads, using any combination of 30 featured toppings, or they can choose from a menu of MOD classics. Pizzas and salads are the same price regardless of the number of toppings. Pizzas are hand-cooked in an 800 degree oven in less than 3 minutes and salads are hand-tossed in front of the customer. MOD also offers local draft beers, wine, sweet and savory knots, milkshakes, and house-made lemonades and iced teas.

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