Persona Wood Fired Pizzeria announced it has signed a franchise agreement with Chicago entrepreneur Greg Dunn to open as many as three Persona Pizzeria restaurants in metropolitan Chicago. Soon, residents of the Windy City will be able to enjoy the award-winning flavors and fast-casual appeal that has made Persona Pizzeria a pioneer in build-your-own Neapolitan pizzas.

Just 100 days after opening in Santa Barbara, California, Persona Wood Fired Pizzeria became that city’s top-rated pizza restaurant, according to Yelp. The eatery allows diners to design their own pizza using any combination of 30-plus Artisan toppings, and then bakes the pizza in as little as 90 seconds in an authentic Italian “Marra Forni” wood-fired oven.

“Persona Wood Fired Pizzeria is succeeding in cities and towns across the U.S. because it appeals to traditional pizza lovers, but gives them a whole new experience,” says cofounder Joseph Baumel. “There’s something for everyone at Persona. Kids love the way they can create their own favorite pizza from our huge array of wholesome toppings. And whether you’re a kid or an adult, it’s great to watch your pizza baked hot and fresh in as little as 90 seconds. We’re pleased to now be working with our newest franchisee, Greg Dunn, who has worked with the world’s leading quick-service restaurant, among other great food brands, to bring our first Persona Wood Fired Pizzeria location in the Midwest to Chicago, a city renowned for great pizza.”

Cybulski, Persona Pizzeria’s executive chef, is a superstar in the world of Neapolitan pizza. Trained at the renowned Scuola Italiana Pizzaioli, Cybulski earned the title of “World Pizza Champion” at the Citta Di Napoli world pizza competition in Naples, Italy. Winner of more than 100 culinary awards, Cybulski’s recipes and standards are reflected in every pizza made at Persona Pizzeria.

“All of our ingredients are fresh,” Cybulski says. “The meatball and sauce recipes have won double gold medals. Our Chipotle Chicken specialty pizza won ‘Best Pizza in North America’ at the world pizza championship.”

“There are a lot of restaurant concepts out there, but nothing quite like Persona Pizzeria,” Dunn says. “So much about Persona is unique. Besides recipes that are created by a global celebrity in Neapolitan pizza, Persona Pizzeria features fresh ingredients that are prepared in-house every day. Where else can you walk in and get such an outstanding pizza in less than five minutes? Persona Pizzeria will stand out with both lunch and dinner customers—even in Chicago, America’s pizza capitol.”

Dunn, a veteran marketing communications executive and food fanatic, will open his first Persona Pizzeria location in mid-2016.  Locations in the Loop and other dynamic neighborhoods are under consideration, Dunn says.

Persona Wood Fired Pizzeria can be found in Santa Barbara and Santa Rosa, California, as well as in Columbia, South Carolina. The company has more than a dozen more restaurants in development in Dallas and Houston, Texas, South Carolina, and now Chicago, with additional locations pending.

Franchising, News, Persona Neapolitan Pizzeria