""Phoenix, Ariz. – May  2011 – New Orleans-based Naked Pizza, the all-natural pizza franchisor on a mission to change the nutritional profile of the fast food industry, has chosen Phoenix (AZ) as the site for its new corporate development hub – a plan which includes building and operating at least 12 corporate-owned store locations with six to open by the end of 2011. Phoenix will also be home to Naked Pizza’s franchisee training facility in the area.

The company’s decision to develop its corporate training center in Phoenix stems from its involvement in the post-recession, post-mass media entrepreneurial movement seeking to grow and create jobs while maintaining a distinct social mission. Naked Pizza’s co-founders see substantial opportunity to boost local economic development in Arizona’s hard-hit post-recession economy – the U.S. Census Bureau reports that 20% of Arizona residents now live in poverty, the second highest rate in America, with the state unemployment rate at 9.5%. 

Naked Pizza franchises create at least 35 jobs at the store level and collectively outsource hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of domestic work through construction jobs and other third party vendor partnerships, while using technology and digital platforms to engage with consumers worldwide about the global need for a healthier lifestyle.  The concept acts as a Trojan Horse into the $40-billion global takeout and delivery pizza model by promising a tasty, good-for-you pie delivered straight to your door hot and fast.

The all-natural pizza features an Ancestral Blend® crust made with a diversity of ten grains, prebiotic-fiber and heat-resistant probiotics (healthful bacteria commonly found in yogurt).  The recipe also boasts an herbed sauce void of added sugar or citric acid, 100% natural and rGBH-free mozzarella cheese, and all-natural vegetable and meat toppings free of additives, hormones and antibiotics.

“Our recipe is based on a 200,000-year-old nutritional blueprint which was abandoned in lieu of a highly-processed diet limited in diversity and low in fiber that is contributing to an exploding obesity rate,” says Naked Pizza co-founder Jeff Leach, “We perfected a physiologically correct pizza that tastes delicious – hoping to prove that fast food can be part of the solution, not the problem.”

Since its 2009 launch as a franchise company, Naked Pizza has garnered international attention for its high profile investors and innovative use of social media and currently has 15 open locations—including two in Dubai (UAE). Naked Pizza is on pace to have 50-75 open stores by the end of 2011 with upcoming locations coming to New York City, D.C., Boulder (CO), Denver (CO) and Princeton (NJ).  Naked Pizza also recently awarded franchising rights in Philadelphia and Chicago. 

In addition to the corporate training hub, which will be located in the Litchfield Park area of Goodyear, Phoenix’s first franchise location is scheduled to open in May 2011 and is located at 4747 E. Elliot Road.

About Naked Pizza:
What if pizza was good for you?  And what if you could use fast food as a Trojan horse to solve a massive social and economic problem by demonstrating that it can be part the solution to the global epidemic of obesity and chronic disease by making it healthful, instead of harmful?  And so the idea for Naked Pizza was born, in a 500-square-foot building that took in 6 feet of Hurricane Katrina water.  There we perfected a radically different pizza that uses a diversity of grains, prebiotic agave fiber, and healthful bacteria called probiotics in the crust instead of the traditional one-grain crust made from a single, highly processed, nutritionally stripped carbohydrate.  We made our pizza all-natural (and affordable – starts at $4.99) – no preservatives, no added sugar, or antibiotics or hormones – in the sauce, cheese, veggies and meat toppings. Nothing artificial, promise.

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