The Culinary Edge (TCE), America’s leading culinary innovation agency offering future-driven solutions for foodservice brands, and Wild Pie, the modern American fast-casual and 100% plant-based pizzeria brand, announced the opening of a new restaurant which appeals to the flexitarian lifestyle by offering pizzas for plant-lovers, meat-lovers, and everyone in between. Owned and operated by OSO Capital Management, LLC (“OSO Capital”), Wild Pie is the direct result of a partnership between TCE and the Jacksonville-based venture capital group where the two parties collaborated to develop the new brand from ideation to conception. To date, Wild Pie has reached its customers and kicked off sales through pop-ups around the Jacksonville area starting in January 2023 with its vibrant green food truck, whereas the new restaurant will put the crowd-pleasing product center stage in a traditional, 2,439-square-foot restaurant setting.

Founded by Aaron Noveshen in 2002, The Culinary Edge specializes in fusing culinary excellence, operational expertise, and human-centered design and brought their innovative minds together to create Wild Pie by designing the menu, brand, and guest experience for the new pizza concept, set to launch a brick and mortar in Hodges Pointe Plaza in Jacksonville, Florida in fall 2023.

“Plant-based foods, and ‘flexitarian’ approaches to eating, are here to stay. But, we have always believed they don’t need to mean a compromise in flavor, texture or indulgence. When the OSO Capital group approached us with their dream of a so-delicious-you-didn’t-realize-it’s-Vegan restaurant, we knew exactly the direction we wanted to head,” says Graham Humphreys, CEO at The Culinary Edge.

“Developing the concept from ideation involved intensive work around culinary, brand, and experience rooted in market insights as well as the brand’s target flexitarian consumer,” says Nina Berman, Project Lead at The Culinary Edge. The Culinary Edge and OSO Capital group ultimately landed on positioning the concept as a plant-based pizzeria and designing a vegetable-forward menu that people can feel good about putting in your body and created a “plant-based pizza eating experience without compromise,” added Eric Fernandez, Sr. R&D Chef at The Culinary Edge.

Once the concept had been established, the rest began to fall into place starting with brand strategy to ideate a persona and mission, and values that aligned with the overall vision and target flexitarian consumer. To create a modern and expressive feel, TCE created a bold and custom logo type to match the wild and fun nature of the brand paired with a color palette designed around green, yellow, and red with hues that draw from the natural and fresh ingredients Wild Pie has to offer. The name, Wild Pie, stems from TCE’s fresh take on pizza and the vision that plant-based pizza can be made “wildly delicious.”

TCE tapped into their full-service of offerings and developed the physical space where guests can conveniently pick up pizza on the go, as well as casually dine-in the warm atmosphere while watching the pizza masters hard at work through the food theater assembling and baking pizzas. The ambiance is vibrant and warm, met with copper hues and natural wood to display Wild Pie’s quality ingredients and credibility as pizza experts.

To bring together the final piece of the pie, the culinary innovators researched and tasted a wide variety of plant-based cheeses and meats to find the best-in-class ingredients used to finalize the last piece of the pie and bring Wild Pie’s menu to fruition. Guests will enjoy catchy menu items named “Phony Pepperoni” and “Power to the Pesto”, among housemade favorites and seasonal specials featuring original toppings and sauces.

“After more than 20 years of learning, we used our innovation and expertise to lay a framework for Wild Pie that has since launched as a successful food truck and now the brand’s first brick and mortar space,” adds Graham Humphreys, CEO, The Culinary Edge. “We are grateful to the OSO Capital group for trusting our vision to bring this concept to fruition. With flavors this good, plant-lovers and meat-lovers alike will want to have a taste of the wild side once Wild Pie opens its doors later this year.”

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