New Orleans-based Naked Pizza has grown quickly, thanks to a savvy, semi-political social-marketing strategy and even savvier mission, "to transform the nutritional profile of the fast food industry by providing an all-natural pizza," according to its website.
The company started in a Katrina-ravaged area of the Big Easy in 2006 and began offering franchises in 2009. It currently has about fifteen locations across the country (and in Dubai); its website claims that Naked Pizza has received about 5,000 requests from would-be franchisees worldwide.
The shop crafts pies from all-natural, healthy ingredients, including agave fiber, prebiotics and probiotics, and such toppings as black beans and roasted peppers and sausages made with no preservatives or additives. There's also an "Ancestral Blend" crust made from ten grains, quinoa and spelt among them.
"Probiotics are the good stomach bugs that you need," explains Gay Burke, the Denver-area Naked Pizza franchisee, "but they're bacteria. You have to feed them. Prebiotics are food for the probiotics."
While it may sound wonky, the food also "tastes great," she says. "We're really out to show people you can make choices that are healthy."
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In fact, Burke is so sold on the concept that she plans to open nine Naked Pizzas in Denver over the next three years. "I'm so committed to the overall mission," she says. "It was a unique opportunity for me to get involved with something that I really identify with."
Those all-natural pizzas will all be available for carry-out or delivery only; none of the Naked Pizza stores are dine-in.
Burke's first Denver shop is scheduled to open in May. The Boulder outpost, which is owned by a different franchisee, should start slinging pies next month.