- A former truck driver, Gursewak Gill entered the Indian-style pizza business in 2012, only to see his first shop burn to the ground.
- After starting anew, Gursewak and partner Romy Gill have grown Curry Pizza House to 15 stores, with another dozen on the way.
You might say Gursewak Gill was driven to succeed in the pizza restaurant business. A native of Punjab, India, he moved to the U.S. in 1996 and paid his way through college as a truck driver. He held onto that job for another decade after graduating, all the while plotting a career as a restaurateur as he navigated the highways in his rig. By 2012, he’d saved enough money to launch Bombay Pizza House in Union City, California.
But the best-laid plans of truck drivers with business degrees can still go awry. Just 10 months after opening, Bombay Pizza House was destroyed by a fire. Shaken but determined, Gursewak opened a new location the following year with his friend, Gurmail “Romy” Gill (no relation), as a partner. They later gave the restaurant a new name—Curry Pizza House (CPH)—and a fast-growing pizza franchise concept was born.
Blending the zesty flavors of Indian cuisine with classic pizza, CPH, headquartered in Fremont, California, currently has 15 locations in Northern California and Texas. It’s poised to expand to 27 locations in those two states and Nevada, the company recently announced.
Related: East meets west in Indian-style pizzerias across San Francisco
With CPH, Gursewak and Romy have developed a menu featuring pizzas, appetizers and sides with a fun and distinctive Indian flair. The Curry Chicken Masala Pizza, for example, melds curry sauce with gooey cheese and a smattering of vegetables, while the Palak Paneer Pizza ingeniously combines a flavorful pesto sauce with masala paneer, ginger and garlic.
Among other noteworthy variations on the menu: the Shahi Paneer Pizza with spiced creamy tomato shahi sauce; the Achari Gobhi Pizza with white garlic sauce; and the Aloo Chaat Pizza, with a house red sauce and marinated potatoes.
For those craving something more traditional, Meat Lovers, Hawaiian and Veggie pies are also offered. Pizzas can be ordered with either thin or thick crust, along with gluten-free and cauliflower crust options.
Curry Pizza House also features a unique take on chicken wings, marinating them in various curries, spices and sauces like tikka, achari, and tandoori. Salads, like the Classic and Spicy Caesar Salad, and sides, like Baked Masala Chips, are also on order.
CPH restaurants reflect a modern aesthetic, and each location is decorated with an eye-catching mural that adds to the playful design. Many of the restaurants have TVs with prime viewing options for sports fans. And guests desiring take-out and delivery can find these options readily available on Curry Pizza House’s website or third-party delivery platforms.
In 2019, another Gill joined the CPH fold: Neelu Gill, who is related to neither of the owners. Also a Punjab native, she immigrated to the U.S. as a child and later worked in human resources at companies like Wave Systems Corporation, Cisco and Plexus. At CPH, she started out managing the Dublin, California location and then took over the Cupertino, California store. She was soon promoted to vice president of marketing and oversees the chain’s “Fresh and Spicy” marketing strategy and franchising.
The average cost to open a CPH store ranges between $200,000 and $600,000. The average unit volume for the top 40% of CPH restaurants tops $1.1 million annually, the company says. Click here for more details on franchising opportunities with Curry Pizza House.