Papa Romanos Pizza and Mr. Pita to Enter Indiana and Illinois under New Master Franchise Agreement

COMMERCE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (December 15, 2008) – Continuing their strategic market expansion, Commerce Township-based Papa Romano’s Pizza and Mr. Pita have finalized an agreement to open multiple locations in Indiana and Illinois.  The two chains expect to open several hundred units in the combined new markets during the next 10-15 years.


Askar Brands LLC, which owns and operates Papa Romano’s Pizza and Mr. Pita, has completed a master franchise agreement with Abajee Developers, Inc., (ADI) of Southfield, Mich., an experienced area developer with other global brands.  ADI plans to open a combination of Papa Romano’s Pizza and Mr. Pita locations as well as co-branded units in Indiana and Illinois.  ADI has targeted Chicago, Ill., and Indianapolis, Ind. as initial markets and plans to open the first store in Chicago by summer 2009.


“We’re delighted to have reached an agreement with ADI and look forward to working with them to establish and grow our brands in these new markets,” said Casey Askar, Askar Brands chairman and chief executive officer.  “As an experienced area developer, ADI has experience and expertise coupled with a proven track record in brand development that will serve us well as we expand our market reach with Papa Romano’s Pizza and Mr. Pita into Illinois and Indiana.”


Papa Romano’s Pizza offers premium, fresh, made-from-scratch traditional and specialty pizza, as well as subs, pasta, chicken, salads and bread.  Mr. Pita provides a healthy and tasty alternative to typical fast food with its wide variety of hot and cold rolled pita sandwiches on fresh pita bread, garden salads and hearty soups.  Both brands offer dine-in, carry-out and delivery service, as well as catering. 


Papa Romano’s Pizza ( was founded in 1970 and today operates 46 stores in Michigan and Texas.  Mr. Pita ( was founded in 1993 and now operates 40 stores in Michigan, Texas, Florida and North Carolina, as well as Pita Wagons that visit worksites to sell its foods.  Since 2006 Papa Romano’s pizza and subs have been voted Michigan’s Best in The Detroit News’ annual readership survey.  In 2008, Mr. Pita was also voted Michigan’s Best.  Both quick-service chains are headquartered in Commerce Township, Mich.