You might say Stoner’s Pizza Joint, headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, has been growing like a weed.

The quick-service pizza franchise opened its 35th location at 15441 North Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa on October 5. Founded in 2013, Stoner’s Pizza Joint started franchising in 2018. John Stetson, Stoner’s CEO, was featured on the cover of PMQ’s April 2021 issue.

“We are excited to open our first of many Tampa locations,” Scott Mobley, the chain’s chief operating officer, said in a press release. “We believe this is going to be a big market for the Stoner’s brand and look forward to serving our delicious products to the community.”

According to the Business Observer, Mobley is also a Stoner’s franchisee and the owner of the new Tampa store as well as three other Stoner’s locations in Florida. He plans to open two more stores in the Tampa area as well. “We want to make sure all of Tampa gets baked,” Mobley said.

All in all, Stoner’s Pizza Joint wants to open 100 units by the end of 2025 and is seeking multi-unit operators to help grow the brand in college-town markets nationwide, with a focus on the southeastern U.S. Prospective franchisees should have a minimum net worth of $250,000. The ideal candidate is a proven multi-unit operator in the restaurant industry and has a strong knowledge of their market, the company said.

At the time of PMQ’s cover story in 2021, Stetson owned seven Stoner’s franchises in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. “I can use the cannabis movement a little bit in my marketing, although we don’t ever want people to think there’s actually CBD or THC in our recipes,” Stetson told PMQ.

“For each new location, we approach the community as a new resident and neighbor,” Stetson said. “Our first mission is getting to know all the local organizations and businesses. We believe the community needs to get to know you first before trusting you as their go-to pizza joint….If you can show your support to your new community before asking for their support, you have a much better chance at success.”

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