February 19, 2014 // Franchising.com // WHITEWATER, Wis. - Hot off the heels of a record-breaking 2013, Toppers Pizza (Toppers) is spurring growth in 2014 with expansive development in Minnesota. Providing a sense of excitement within the crowded pizza segment, Toppers has gained a dedicated following for its original menu items and solid customer service. Its newest store, located at 1539 W. Larpenteur Avenue in Falcon Heights, Minn., is slated to open on February 17, 2014.
The opening is spearheaded by long-time Toppers aficionados, Dan Ogiba and Brad Vinton and is the latest addition to the rising brand's quickly expanding portfolio. This opening marks the duo's third store in the Twin Cities area, with another four scheduled to open over the next two years.
"Minnesota has been a prime development market for us over the past few years, so we're thrilled to open in the Falcon Heights community and celebrate our expansion with our fans," said Chief Development Officer of Toppers Chris Cheek. "Dan and Brad have had a solid history with Toppers throughout the years, and they are great representatives of our brand due to their passion and commitment to our pizzas and customers."
Ogiba and Vinton have been friends since their collegiate days at Hamline University, and remained close after graduating. While watching a basketball game on TV, Ogiba saw a Toppers mailer and decided to order pizzas for his friends, never having tried it before. After sampling the pizza and agreeing the brand was both unique and delicious, Ogiba and Vinton became steadfast Toppers fanatics. The duo has always dreamed of owning a business together, and after their interest in Toppers sparked, Ogiba and Vinton were inspired to pursue the brand professionally and grow it in Minneapolis. The entrepreneurs will now open their third location in the Twin Cities area, in the direct vicinity of their alma mater.
"Toppers is a brand that is more engaged and more fanatical about its customers and products than any pizza brand out there," Vinton said, noting the brand's excitement rubbed off on him after his first Toppers experience. "We're proud to open a Toppers in our old college town and give students and community members a pizza brand with personality that they can really connect with."
Along with its ability to tap into the most influential demographic, 18–34 year olds, Toppers has made a name for itself as the creator of unique menu items. Toppers has never shied away from innovation, as exemplified by its newest house pizzas – the Three Little Pigs, Loaded Tot-zza and El Cubano – as well as dozens of other unique and original menu items like its Topperstix™ and the Mac 'N Cheese Topper.
"We're thankful for the passionate franchisees we have behind each operation and the supportive fans we've been able to add to our growing family along the way - they are the real reason for our growing success," said Vice President of Marketing Scott Iversen. "Toppers has universal appeal, from college kids to families, which has allowed us to grow out of our roots in Wisconsin into welcoming states like Minnesota. We're excited to satisfy even more pizza cravings in the Land of 1,000 Lakes with our newest opening."
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 54 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