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Parent company Greenfield Farms Food Inc. announced that it has completed financing arrangements for the first phase of its franchising program for its Carmela's Pizzeria concept. The financing is scheduled to close Feb. 15 and is being provided by a Minneapolis-based private equity fund, according to a news release.

The initial phase of the program is development of the Franchise Disclosure Document, a legal document presented to prospective franchise buyers in the presale process. Additionally, the company is in the candidate review and screening process for selection of a national franchising director. The candidate review and screening process has been narrowed down, and the company expects to have an announcement in the short term. The company also is developing the franchising operating system, collateral marketing materials and supporting legal documentation.

There currently are four Carmela's Pizzeria units in operation, and there are plans to add additional company-owned operating units during this year's term and into the next. Plans are also underway to develop a prototype Carmela's Pizzeria unit in the southern U.S., with a focus on Florida.

"We are more than excited about our national franchising program, as this is the area where more rapid company growth will be evidenced through the addition of nationwide franchised units," CEO Rob Heineman said in the release. "Carmela's Pizzeria restaurants in every state of the country — this is a vision we are committed to and have every intention to implement."

Read more about franchising and growth.

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