Heating Up in Minnesota: Toppers Pizza Opens in Rochester, Minn.
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Heating Up in Minnesota: Toppers Pizza Opens in Rochester, Minn.

Father-son, Pizza-enthusiast Duo Expands Eclectic Pizza Brand with New Opening in Minnesota

February 19, 2014 // Franchising.com // WHITEWATER, Wis. – Toppers Pizza (Toppers), an eclectic pizza delivery franchise brand that is rapidly turning first-time customers into pizza enthusiasts, continues to show substantial growth across the United States. By offering patrons an elevated experience through upgraded customer service and an original take on the boring pizza segment, the Toppers family of franchisees has grown energetically.

The brand's newest store is slated to open on March 3, 2014 in Rochester, Minn. Located at 1217 Marion Rd., Suite #700, the opening is spearheaded by the franchisee family, Myron and Keith Allen.

"Residents of Rochester have already proved themselves to be pizza fanatics who have great taste, so we're certain that Toppers will again receive a warm welcome when we open our doors," said Toppers Chief Development Officer, Chris Cheek. "Since the response to Toppers in Rochester — and Minnesota more broadly — has been overwhelmingly positive, we're confident that Myron and Keith with continue their success by bringing an outstanding pizza option to more fanatics in the city."

The Allens' love affair with Toppers began while Keith was in school at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, where he first discovered the pizza brand. After quickly becoming a loyal customer and a devoted fan, Keith saw that there was a huge gap in the pizza industry in his hometown of Rochester, where there was a lack of brands offering innovative products and late-night delivery for which Toppers has become famous. Attracted to the late-night appeal, cheekiness of the brand, and the strong relationship franchisees had with the corporate office, Keith felt Toppers would be the perfect business venture for the Rochester market. Keith then recruited his father, Myron, as his business partner and the duo successfully opened their first Toppers restaurant in September of 2012 in the city. Just over a year later, the duo is now looking forward to growing the brand in Rochester, appealing to the 30,000 daily commuters that the Mayo Clinic brings into the area.

Upon signing with Toppers, the Allens made it a priority to bring the creativity of Toppers favorites to the Rochester community. Toppers was the first delivery brand to capture the cheesy-bread marketplace with its famous TopperstixTM, made from handmade dough topped with garlic butter and cheese. The brand has never shied away from innovation, with out-of-this-world creations like the Loaded Tot-zza, El Cubano and Buffalo Chicken Topper, as well as unconventional toppings such as French fried onions, tater tots and pulled pork.

This opening will allow Toppers to continue catering to the young and young-at-heart in Minnesota. Positioned in a heavy foot-traffic area, the brand aims to increase local recognition and provide residents with an exceptional pizza experience. Once their second Toppers store is up and running, the Allens said they may be looking at adding to the brand's ongoing expansion.

Focusing on Wisconsin markets for the first 20 years of inception, Toppers then moved on to open new locations in surrounding states, including Minnesota, Illinois and Nebraska. By the end of 2015, these four states are expected to anchor 70 stores. Currently, the brand boasts 55 locations throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, North Carolina, Nebraska, Arkansas, Indiana and Texas.

"Toppers is committed to being pizza pioneers, which has allowed us to differentiate ourselves from the big-box pizza chains, and as a result, secure serious growth," said Vice President of Marketing Scott Iversen. "In 2014, we hope to leverage this momentum and continue our growth, expanding both our customer fan base and our franchise system, whether in our home market of the Midwest or in new territory."

As a growth-focused franchise, Toppers forecasts an impressive 2014 with plans to build a larger presence throughout the Midwest this year. The brand aims to reach 500 locations by 2020, primarily through the support of committed and experienced franchisees like the Allens.

About Toppers Pizza

In 1991, Toppers Pizza began its quest to become the best pizza company in the world by killing it on every detail of the customer experience. Headquartered in Whitewater, Wis., Toppers takes a unique approach to the crowded pizza segment by cooking up mouthwatering specialty pizzas that start with their fresh, made-from-scratch dough, smothered in real Wisconsin cheese and finished with outrageous toppings such as French fried onions, oven-roasted tomatoes, mac 'n cheese and tater tots. Toppers' claim to fame comes in the form of Topperstix™, arguably the planet's most addictively delicious cheesy breadstix. The Toppers empire encompasses 55 restaurants across 10 states and, with its rapid expansion, is in the midst of Midwest and national domination. In 2013, Entrepreneur Magazine ranked Toppers as one of the top 500 franchises in the U.S., Nation's Restaurant News declared the brand as one of the 50 breakout chains of the year, and Toppers received a No. 58 spot in Pizza Today's top 100 pizza companies. For more information on Toppers, visit www.toppers.com, www.facebook.com/ToppersRocks or www.twitter.com/ToppersPizza.

SOURCE Toppers Pizza



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