Unique Pizza and Subs Corporation announced Pizza Fusion's domestic expansion strategy, beginning with a new franchise in Charlotte, N.C. to be opened this fall.

The company announced on Aug. 29 it had signed a Definitive Agreement to acquire privately-held Pizza Fusion Holdings, with closing expected in the fourth quarter.

Pizza Fusion's next phase of development calls for accelerating U.S. expansion to capitalize on its organic, eco-friendly branding. This strategy utilizes analysis of prospective new markets and thorough qualification of potential franchisees. The Charlotte location will be UPZS' 14th U.S. Pizza Fusion franchise.

UPZS plans to announce several more new Pizza Fusion franchise agreements throughout the new few months.

"Our domestic expansion strategy has now been proven and perfected over the past two years," said Vaughan Lazar, CEO and co-founder of Pizza Fusion. "Through extensive research and demographic analysis, similar to that of a Whole Foods or Trader Joe's, we have determined the optimal locations for further expansion of our franchise. Riding the crest of surging consumer demand for fresh, natural organic food, we are excited to be growing organically in an otherwise difficult economy that is seeing many of the 20th century concept restaurant chains stagnating or closing outlets."

Sales of organic food increased 9.5 percent from 2009 to 2011.

"Consumer demand for fresh, organic food is a macro trend with unlimited potential," Lazar added. "With pizza store sales of $36 billion annually, the Pizza Fusion franchise model has enormous potential."

Bob and Leigh Anderson are the owners of Pizza Fusion Charlotte. The father-daughter partnership has more than 35 years of combined business experience. They signed an agreement for the option to open two additional locations in North Carolina.

The new 1,700 square-foot Pizza Fusion Charlotte will be located around the corner from Trader Joe's in the Metropolitan shopping plaza, at 1055 Metropolitan Ave.

Read more about franchising and growth.

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