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&pizza, a Washington, D.C.–based company known for its trademark ampersand, gourmet handmade pizzas, inventive flavour combinations, localized store design, and dedication to the communities it serves, announced it has received a $10 million investment for growth and expansion.
The brand plans to leverage the investment, along with the investors’ experience in branded consumerretail, for expansion of its stores in key markets. Already with nine locations in the D.C. metropolitan area and six more slated to open in the first half of 2015 in Barracks Row; Chinatown; Dupont Circle South; North Bethesda, Maryland; and within Reagan National and Dulles International Airports, the not-yet-three-year-old brand promises to not outgrow its britches.
When they launched the brand in 2012 in Washington, D.C.’s historic H Street NE corridor, &pizza founders Steve Salis and Michael Lastoria set out to create a different kind of pizza shop, one where experience is the focal point and every shop reflects the culture and people of its neighbourhood. Evidence of their disruptive success can be found in the organizational culture of &pizza’s employees (the brand calls them Tribe Members), the company’s rapid expansion, and its numerous recognitions.
The pizza itself, made with fresh ingredients of customers’ choosing—including house-made Mozzarella—in less than four minutes is the main attraction. As a compliment to the pizza, &pizza also has a variety of house-made and branded wines, hand-crafted sodas, salads, and desserts.
&pizza’s impact goes far beyond its four walls. The company prides itself on its community outreach efforts and localized charity programs, held under its umbrella foundation, &charity, all of which have created an unprecedented level of brand loyalty in the Washington, D.C., region.
“We’ve built a company from the ground up that has a real purpose, and this investment will allow us to expand our mission, both deeper inside the city limits of the nation’s capital and far beyond,” says cofounder and CEO Salis.
“We have built a brand with an incredible amount of guest loyalty, and we are proud of what our tribe has accomplished in the past three years,” adds cofounder and president Lastoria. “We are incredibly excited to bring &pizza into the next phase of its growth.”