Marco’s Pizza announced a 4-unit signed agreement that will bring stores to the central and northern Shenandoah Valley market. The first two stores will open in Harrisonburg – 1168 Virginia Ave. Suite 102 and 2950 Spotswood Trail – this summer and early fall, respectively. 

Multi-unit, multi-brand franchisee Michael Blackburn is the owner of these new locations. Blackburn has long been involved in the franchise industry having worked for a large fast food franchisee ownership group for five years, in addition to owning and operating three Dairy Queen franchises with his wife. When the duo moved from Harrisonburg to Midlothian, they discovered Marco’s Pizza for the first time and immediately fell in love with the concept, the quality product, and proven business model. They saw the opportunity to diversify their portfolio and flex their backgrounds in franchising and construction to bring Marco’s to their hometown.

“With Marco’s, we have the perfect recipe of a quality product, historically strong EBITDA, and an opportunity to grow a robust portfolio,” says Blackburn. “As we’ve done with our Dairy Queen locations, we look to add Marco’s into the fold of community giveback. Building out these stores will give us opportunity to further engrain ourselves in the communities we serve as the neighborhood pizza of choice, while we involve ourselves with local schools, hospitals, and more.”

With two locations set to open this year, Blackburn is in early stages of site selection for the second pair of locations along the I-81 corridor in Winchester, Waynesboro, etc.

This announcement adds to the growing list of statewide development for Marco’s – 10-units across Annadale, Centreville, Haymarket, Manassas, McLean, etc.,  8-units across the Reston-Arlington area,  7-units in the Roanoke-Lynchburg market – as Virginia proves to be a hot development state with vast area for opportunity.

Marco’s franchise expansion continues to surge with more than 200 stores in various stages of development, and hundreds of agreements signed. In 2022, Marco’s opened 90-plus stores and awarded 140 franchises. In the last six years, the fast-growing brand has doubled its store footprint with no intention of slowing down. Company leadership has identified 4,200 potential U.S. locations.

Alongside impressive expansion, Marco’s is prioritizing investments in enhancing the franchise development program, new technology, personnel, strategic vendor partnerships, multi-channel national advertising, and more – all with an eye on maximizing franchisee profits while meeting the needs of today’s modern customer.

Marco’s remains on the fast-track for growth, now boasting more than 1,100 stores while achieving record-breaking performance – surpassing $1B in annual systemwide sales. Marco’s provides a full development support system, including technology and tools to help identify the right territories for expansion plus expertise in financing, real estate, construction management, and field operations, to assist franchisees and multi-unit operators.

Emerging Concepts, Fast Casual, Franchising, Growth, News, Marco's Pizza