Co-Branding Agreement Offers Revolutionary Way to Get Fresh Home-Cooked Food, Faster

SYRACUSE, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Make and Take Gourmet (, a fast-growing meal preparation franchise that has already opened 23 locations across the country in their first year, signed a nationwide licensing and marketing agreement with Old Forge Pizza Express ( to co-brand and offer Old Forge Pizza Express bake-at-home pizza throughout Make and Take Gourmet’s network of stores. “Take and Bake” pizza is the fastest-growing trend in the U.S. pizza market. The roll out of Old Forge Pizza Express will take place within all of the current Make and Take Gourmet stores within the next few months. All new Make and Take Gourmet stores will be built out with Old Forge Pizza Express as part of their business.

“Old Forge Pizza Express is a perfect complementary offering to our stores,” said Michele Bellso, CEO and Founder of Make and Take Gourmet. “We’re pleased to be leading the meal prep industry by offering this amazing ‘take ‘n’ bake’ pizza. We tested it and found it to be the best tasting pizza we’d ever had. I’m thrilled to be able to share this gourmet pizza with our customers.”

Old Forge Pizza is a style of pizza that originated in Old Forge, Pennsylvania, which is officially trademarked “The Pizza Capital of the World.” Concocted by Italian immigrants working the anthracite coal industry, the pizza has become world-renowned because of its unique rectangular shape; its light, airy crust; multiple cheese combinations and its fresh home-grown ingredients. The different cheese combinations give the pizza a more balanced flavor and yields less oil in the cooking process than what occurs when just using mozzarella.

The pizza is made to order for each individual customer. Customers then take the pizzas home to bake in just 8 to 10 minutes. Customers are guaranteed straight-from-the-oven freshness every time, always on their schedule. Bake–At-Home from Old Forge Pizza Express beats traditional delivery pizza, too. By the time an already-cooked delivery pizza reaches your door, it’s either soupy or soggy and half-cold.

Old Forge Pizza Express, with locations throughout the greater Scranton/Wilkes Barre PA area, follows the Make and Take Gourmet philosophy of offering freshly prepared, uncooked meals. Make and Take Gourmet is designed to help families save valuable time and enjoy healthy, delicious dinners in the comfort of their own home. Make and Take Gourmet develops monthly menus; then shops, slices, and dices all necessary ingredients. Customers prepare meals from easy-to-follow recipes and then take them home to cook. Customers can also opt to have Make and Take Gourmet prepare their meals for them!

“Offering ‘take ‘n’ bake’ pizza is a great opportunity and idea,” says industry expert, Bert Vermeulen, founder of The Easy Meal Prep Association. “It is innovations like this that keep the meal prep industry booming.”

“We are proud to begin offering customers our unique, great-tasting, bake-at-home pizza in Make & Take Gourmet stores nationwide,” said Jeff Mamera, CEO and Co-Founder of Old Forge Pizza Express. “This is an exciting partnership full of synergy and growth potential. Our brands share a common vision in serving the freshest, highest-quality specialty foods quickly and conveniently for customers to cook in their own ovens.”

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