Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza, a built-to-order artisanal pizza brand, today announced that it will open eight new restaurants in Southern California in the coming months. Two restaurants are set to open in September in Culver City and La Canada and six additional locations will be opening soon in Los Angeles, Isla Vista, Carlsbad, Mission Viejo, Cabazon and Southgate. An additional 10 Los Angeles area locations have been identified to open in 2014.

Buoyed by the success of its Irvine, Pasadena and Torrance restaurants, the company is partnering with select qualified franchisees to develop Blaze Pizza in markets across the country, according to a company press release. Today, Southern California is "sold out" with 11 franchise groups committed to building 70 restaurants over the next five years. In addition, Blaze Pizza has signed area development agreements with franchisees in 20 other markets including New York City, Chicago, Miami, Washington D.C., Detroit, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Houston and the San Francisco Bay Area. Including the new Southern California locations, the company expects to have 25 restaurants operating by the end of March 2014.

"It started with the simple idea of making a great artisanal pizza — custom built-to-order and served freakishly fast for about $7," said Elise Wetzel, co-founder of Blaze Pizza. "Our inspiration grew out of frustration when we couldn't find a good fast pizza for lunch. We knew that if we could execute on this simple idea, we could sell a lot of pizza."

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