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That ‘other’ fast-bake pizza chain in the region is growing rapidly, too

It may be outnumbered in the Miami Valley’s fast-bake pizza restaurant market by a ratio of about 14 to 2, but MOD Pizza says it is experiencing its own rapid growth across the nation. 

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The Seattle-based MOD Pizza is now the only chain competitor left in the local fast-bake pizza market to Kettering-based Rapid Fired Pizza, now that Cleveland-based PizzaFire has shut down its restaurant on Far Hills Avenue in Kettering.

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But Rapid Fired has aggressively protected its home turf, opening more than a dozen Dayton-area locations in the last two years, including its most recent addition in Xenia. MOD Pizza operates restaurants on North Main Street (Ohio 48) in Englewood and in the Cornerstone of Centerville development in Centerville. 

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MOD Pizza officials reported yesterday, March 13 that nationwide, the company added 110 restaurants in 2017, bringing its total to 302, while same-store sales grew by 5.2 percent. System-wide sales reached $275 million, up more than 81 percent, and the company’s net revenue reached $219 million, up 68 percent over 2016. MOD Pizza expanded into seven new states and created 2,600 new jobs in 2017, company officials said in a release. 

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MOD Pizza is scheduled to offer grand opening giveaways starting at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016, at 7240 Outfitters Way in West Chester Twp. GREG LYNCH/STAFF (Staff Writer)

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Locally, MOD Pizza opened in Englewood location in April 2017, and its Centerville location in September 2017. It also operates a location in West Chester across from the Liberty Center.

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To support its rapid growth, MOD raised $33 million in equity in 2017 and has raised over $185 million in total equity capital since its inception. 

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Zachery Johnson, Kayla Kelley and Michelle Rahn create pizzas at the new MOD Pizza, which is scheduled to offer grand opening giveaways starting at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016, at 7240 Outfitters Way in West Chester Twp. GREG LYNCH/STAFF (Staff Writer)

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“2017 was an amazing year for MOD as we added 110 stores to our system-wide store base, making it the second year in a row during which we grew by 100 stores or more,” Scott Svenson, co-founder and CEO of MOD Pizza, said in a release.

Last year, the MOD Pizza pizza-and-salad brand was named winner of the Future 50 Pacesetter award, which recognizes the outstanding performer among the onetime Future 50 chains.

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MOD Pizza is open in West Chester Twp. GREG LYNCH / STAFF (Staff Writer)

>> RELATED: New fast-serve pizza chain coming to Cornerstone (April 2016)

MOD — an acronym that stands for “made on demand” — was founded in 2008 by Scott and Ally Svenson, the husband-and-wife team that formerly founded Seattle Coffee Co., a United Kingdom operation that was subsequently sold to Starbucks. Scott Svenson served after the sale as president of Starbucks’ European operations.

RELATED: MOD Pizza confirms 1st Dayton-area restaurant will open in Englewood (August 2016)

Scott serves today as CEO of MOD, and Ally is brand vice president.

MOD is among the pioneers of the fast casual pizza segment, in which individual pizzas are made on demand, then cooked in an 800 degree oven in less than three minutes. Made-to-order salads also are available, as are milkshakes, house-made lemonades and iced teas, and local craft beers and wine.

MOD Pizza will open its first Dayton-area location in Englewood, and its second in Centerville. Photo from MOD Pizza Facebook page

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