After months of announcing and planning franchised locations around the nation and even in Dubai, New Orleans-based NakedPizza has announced the debut of its first franchised location, in South Beach. The grand opening will occur there Saturday at 1260 Washington Ave. and 13th St., according to a company spokesperson. The store is the first to open of more than 300 stores under development nationwide.

The NakedPizza team, founded in late 2006 and funded by Mark Cuban and the Kraft Group, has established a mission to deliver a delicious, convenient and affordable pizza that fits into a healthy lifestyle. Company officials say the concept is out to prove that a fast food favorite can be both healthy and tasty while also creating a business model for investment, profit and scale.

Menu items start at $4.99 for a 10-inch pie, and the menu boasts unprocessed ingredients that are free of additives, trans fat or other chemicals, supporting the company’s idea that fast food can be part of the solution to the national epidemic of obesity and chronic disease related to diet.  

Founder Jeff Leach has developed an “ancestral grain” flour blend that makes the concept’s crust more nutritious. At this year’s Pizza Executive Summit in Chicago, Leach, an anthropologist by trade, said his mission was to make pizza a delivery vehicle for healthier eating habits in America.  

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