Smokin’ Oak Wood-Fired Pizza, a fast-casual pizza franchise based in St. Petersburg, Florida, will be coming to the greater Denver area. Arvada residents Andy and Jamie Gunther are the franchise …
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Smokin’ Oak Wood-Fired Pizza, a fast-casual pizza franchise based in St. Petersburg, Florida, will be coming to the greater Denver area.
Arvada residents Andy and Jamie Gunther are the franchise owners and plan to open three stores in the area.
Their goal is to open the first store by summer 2019, and are focused on opening in Arvada’s Candelas area.
“We really like all of our neighbors,” Jamie Gunther said. “I did a lot of soliciting and there’s not a lot out here, so people are really anxious for more retail.”
Andy Gunther said that since they were going into the food business and live in an area where people want more choices, it only makes sense to open in that area.
The couple has a nearby spot picked out, but it is still under construction. They are also looking at the Denver West area on the edge of Golden and Lakewood as another possible location.
The act of opening up a franchised restaurant is new for the Gunthers. Andy has worked in technology for 20 years and Jamie is currently a personal trainer at Apex Park and Recreation District.
“We started talking about the idea of franchises, and I swear Facebook listens because the next morning on my Facebook feed, there pops up this advertisement for Smokin’ Oak franchises,” Andy Gunther said. “I started investigating that and other franchises. And they had a really good program.”
The Gunthers said that the company’s sense of community and fresh ingredients were big draws for them.
Fresh ingredients is also something Matt Mongoven, Smokin’ Oak Wood-Fired Pizza Chief Executive Officer hopes draws in customers.
“What we like about Colorado is people tend to really appreciate the freshness of ingredients and knowing where their food is coming from,” Mongoven said. “We really believe that freshness is part of the DNA of Smokin’ Oak Wood Fired Pizza.”
Some unique aspects of the Colorado stores will be tweaking the brands pizza dough recipe and adding green chilis as a topping.
“Dough making is a science and we want to make sure that if you’re buying a pizza in Colorado or wherever we have a location, it’s the same,” Mongoven said. “We may need to make a few tweaks here and there to accommodate for the altitude, but we will make sure we get that right.”
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