Pizza Fusion Expands into Palm Beach County with Florida's First LEED Certified Restaurant

Organic, eco-friendly restaurant chain to open Florida's first LEED certified restaurant in Palm Beach Gardens

December 20, 2007 // Franchising.com // Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. – Pizza Fusion (www.pizzafusion.com), America's most environmentally sustainable restaurant, will be opening Florida's first ever LEED certified restaurant in Palm Beach Gardens (http://www.usgbc.org/LEED/Project/RegisteredProjectListDetail.aspx?ID=10103877) at 4783 PGA Blvd. in mid-January. The restaurant will be the first of Pizza Fusion's national franchise expansion that kicked off in February. Entrepreneurs Rick and Linda Wilson are the franchisees behind Pizza Fusion Palm Beach Gardens and are also opening stores in Boca Raton, Jupiter and Aspen, Colorado in the coming year.

"Pizza Fusion's industry leading socially conscious approach to restaurant service and delicious organic menu has been warmly accepted by Broward Country," Linda Wilson states. "We're very excited to not only enhance Palm Beach County's restaurant portfolio with a healthy destination for quality food, but are thrilled to introduce the state of Florida to its first ever LEED certified restaurant. It's sincerely rewarding to contribute to a more socially responsible future."

Pizza Fusion, whose motto is 'Saving the Earth, One Pizza at a Time,' serves a gourmet, organic menu of pizza, focaccia sandwiches, wraps, desserts, beer and wine. They also offer health conscious alternatives for people with selective diets and food allergies, including gluten-free, vegan and lactose-free options. Taking the lead in the environmentally sustainable restaurant sector, Pizza Fusion practices an eco-friendly approach to their entire existence, including their restaurants' buildout, service and overall operations. Currently, the company has over 60 LEED certified restaurants opening in eight states across the U.S., including California, Nevada, Colorado, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Virginia and Florida.

Pizza Fusion's LEED certified restaurants feature a number of unique, eco-efficient products, techniques and designs, including eliminating the use of water heaters and air heating units by recycling heat from their ovens to warm their water and the restaurants themselves. Other eco-friendly store elements include countertops made from 100% recycled detergent bottles, bamboo flooring, 30% recaptured industrial concrete, ceiling panels made from 74% recycled aluminum cans and 24% post industrial metals, USG Gypsum Board made from pre-used drywall, insulation made from recycled blue jeans, ceiling baffles made from recycled composite board, low voltage and low heat lighting, seat cushions made with soybean oil, furniture made from reclaimed wood and much more.

"We're thrilled to continue our expansion into Palm Beach County and throughout our home state. We hope that building a stronger presence to support our sometimes fanatic customer base here in South Florida will encourage the state as a whole to move toward more environmentally sustainable practices," Vaughan Lazar, co-founder and CEO of Pizza Fusion, explains. "Rick and Linda are an excellent entrepreneurial team with a proven track record for success. We're very proud to welcome them into the Pizza Fusion Family and our confident they'll represent us well as we continue our national expansion."

Together, the husband and wife entrepreneurial duo shares a collective wealth of business knowledge and food industry expertise. Linda Wilson formerly played a key role in the development and management of numerous Pottery Barn stores. Rick Wilson has 15 years of food industry experience as Director of Sales for home delivery products with Quantum Foods where he manages sales exceeding $40 million a year. Quantum Foods is the largest portion control packer in the world, custom packaging beef, pork and poultry products for food service distributors, major restaurant chains, the U.S. military and more.

About LEED Certification
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™, established by the United States Green Building council, is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings' performance. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.

About Pizza Fusion
Founded in February of 2006, Pizza Fusion leads a new niche market by combining an eclectic organic menu with a detail-oriented environmental business approach in chic LEED certified fast casual environments. Pizza Fusion serves gourmet pizzas, focaccia sandwiches, salads, desserts, beers, wines and more in their purest form - untainted by artificial additives, such as sweeteners, pesticides, preservatives, antibiotics and hormones. For additional information, visit: www.pizzafusion.com.

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