A new arrival has turned up the heat on the fast casual pizza business in Kansas City. Firenza Pizza, a burgeoning franchise touting “Pizza Like Never Before,” is set to open its first area restaurant in the Shops At Boardwalk at 8624 N. Boardwalk Avenue on November 14.
The new 2,400 square-foot restaurant specializes in hand-crafted, made-to-order pizza and will celebrate its grand opening November 14-November 18 by giving away Free Pizzas to those who make a $2 donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society or the Northland Sports Alliance. In addition, the first 10 people in line Friday, November 17, 2017 and Saturday, November 18 will get free pizza for a year.
“We have something for everyone to enjoy, and we look forward to becoming the go-to fast-casual pizza in Kansas City,” says Jennifer Gardner, who will own and operate the restaurant with her daughter, Mel Ginther.
Jennifer and Mel believe in giving back to the community and those who have supported them. For this reason they chose Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Northland Sports Alliance to partner with on their Grand Opening.
In 2008 Chris, Jennifer’s husband, Chris, was diagnosed with Stage IV follicular lymphoma. After going through two bone marrow transplants, Chris no longer has Lymphoma but deals with the continuing effects of his transplant. Currently, he has virtually no immune system and has been diagnosed with other types of cancer. Looking for an opportunity that would eliminate Jennifer’s hectic work related travel so she could take care of Chris, Mel approached her parents with the idea of opening a pizza restaurant. After learning more about Firenza’s commitment to local communities and quality they knew it would be a good fit.
“I am so thankful for the opportunity, and like watching my children get married and the birth of our new granddaughter, Firenza has given me something else to live for. While I can’t work in the restaurant, I work on the restaurant daily. I am managing construction and purchasing of equipment and supplies,” says Chris.
The Gardner’s connection to Northland Alliance Sports comes from the lessons and opportunities that Mel got while playing soccer. She is a former team member of Park University’s soccer team. The donations raised on behalf of NAS will help disadvantaged children take advantage of the organization’s many beneficial programs.
Firenza specializes in truly hand crafted and made-to-order pizzas that can be customized with nearly 40 fresh toppings including house roasted garlic, creamy mozzarella ovalini and lean grilled steak. For those customers who don’t want to create their pizzas from scratch, Firenza also offers eight chef-inspired signature pies ranging from the Pizza Vegetariana loaded with healthy vegetables to the Big Kahuna featuring smoked ham, bacon and tropical pineapple. Once the 10-inch pizzas are assembled, they’re baked in an open flame stone-hearth oven and guaranteed to be done within five minutes.
The cost of a simple cheese pizza is $5.99. Signature Pizzas start at $8.99.
While convenience and price are important selling points, the priority for Jennifer and Mel is phenomenal pizza, great customer service and fun. “Unlike most other fast casual pizza chains where the crusts are premade and machine-pressed, our pizza dough is made in house daily and hand-stretched to order right in front of the customers,” said Jennifer.
In addition to pizza the restaurant offers diners customizable salads, oven baked wings, homestyle meatballs and more.
The Kansas City location will be the first Firenza Pizza to partner with Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que. This local institution has won dozens of accolades for its offerings including being named one of "13 Places You Must Eat Before You Die" by celebrity Chef Anthony Bourdain, America's manliest restaurant by Men’s Health Magazine and "Kansas City's Best Barbecue" by Zagat.
Firenza and Joe’s will collaborate on a BBQ Pizza that will feature Joe’s brisket, sausage and savory sauce.