Knoxville, Tenn.-based Hard Knox Pizzeria, owned by Dean and Jill Bastian, has signed its first franchisee.
Steve and Carolyn Bryant will open a Hard Knox Pizzeria in Farragut, a suburb of Knoxville, in spring 2014.
"Both Jill, my wife and business partner, are thrilled that Steve and Caroline have decided to join us in pursuing our passion for pizza," Dean Bastian said in a news release. "We have developed a strong, loyal customer base in our current location and can't wait for a new customer base to taste what we have created."
According to Bastian, the new store will represent the prototype for future franchising for Hard Knox Pizza — including a larger footprint with twice the seating capacity as the original store. Other features will include a larger wood-fired oven and expanded beverage options.
"I can't express how thrilled we are to open the very first Hard Knox Pizzeria franchise," Steve Bryant said. "We have an excellent opportunity to fill an industry niche for incredible gourmet-style pizza at a reasonable cost while developing the brand regionally according to a very successful approach."
Founded in 2009, Hard Knox Pizzeria's signature items are Neo Neapolitan Pizzas such as The Bonecrusher (housemade red sauce, fresh mozzarella, pepperoni, Italian sausage, fresh rosemary and crushed red pepper); The Iron Mike (housemade white sauce, fresh mozzarella, baby spinach, caramelized garlic and shaved parmigiana reggiano) and The Sweet Pea (smoked mozzarella, prosciutto, blue cheese and clover honey). The menu also includes made-to-order salads, wood-fired calzones, flatbread melts and Italian desserts.
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