New Orleans-based Naked Pizza has chosen Phoenix as the site for its new corporate development hub. The company will use this location to build on its expansion plans, which include developing and operating at least 12 corporate-owned store locations, with six set to open by year's end.

Phoenix also will be home to a Naked Pizza franchisee training facility.

The company's decision to develop its corporate training center in Phoenix stems from a desire to grow and create jobs while maintaining a distinct social mission. Naked Pizza's co-founders see substantial opportunity to boost local economic development in Arizona's hard-hit post-recession economy. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 20 percent of Arizona residents now live in poverty, the second highest rate in America, with the state unemployment rate at 9.5 percent.

In addition to the corporate training hub, which will be located in the Litchfield Park area of Goodyear, Phoenix's first franchise location is scheduled to open this month.

Naked Pizza features an Ancestral Blend crust made with a diversity of 10 grains, prebiotic-fiber and heat-resistant probiotics. The recipe also includes an herbed sauce void of added sugar or citric acid, 100 percent natural and rGBH-free mozzarella cheese, and all-natural vegetable and meat toppings free of additives, hormones and antibiotics.

"Our recipe is based on a 200,000-year-old nutritional blueprint which was abandoned in lieu of a highly-processed diet limited in diversity and low in fiber that is contributing to an exploding obesity rate," said Naked Pizza co-founder Jeff Leach, "We perfected a physiologically correct pizza that tastes delicious – hoping to prove that fast food can be part of the solution, not the problem."

Since its 2009 launch as a franchise company, Naked Pizza now has 15 open locations — including two in Dubai (UAE). Naked Pizza is on pace to have 50-75 open stores by the end of 2011 with upcoming locations coming to New York City, Washington, D.C., Boulder, Colo., Denver and Princeton, N.J. Naked Pizza also recently awarded franchising rights in Philadelphia and Chicago.

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