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Press release content from Globe Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza Changes the Game this Earth Day with Eco-Friendly Rollouts

April 22, 2019

LOS ANGELES, April 22, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- At Blaze Pizza, making intelligent choices for people, pizza and the planet has always been at the forefront of decision-making. Since its inception, the fast casual concept has constructed its restaurants with recycled and sustainable materials, used eco-friendly packaging and featured energy-efficient LED lighting. This Earth Day, the company is changing the game again, with a trio of initiatives that showcase its commitment to this mantra.

-- Furthering the brand’s fast casual and pizza category leadership, Blaze Pizza is going strawless at its 300+ locations. To do so, the industry leader will be rolling out new domed lids to top their selection of fountain beverages, including the Signature Blood Orange Lemonade, seasonal agua fresca drinks and Blue Sky soda, made with cane sugar. In-restaurant materials announcing ‘straws suck’ will communicate the change to guests. All restaurants are expected to be strawless by summer, making Blaze Pizza the first national pizza chain to go strawless system-wide. -- With a plant-based and planet-friendly mindset, Blaze is introducing a new topping – Spicy Chorizo (vegan). Guests can now heat things up by adding this plant-based protein to any pizza. Crafted by Blaze Pizza’s Executive Chef, Bradford Kent, the craveable offering features a unique blend of spices, available at no extra charge. Pro tip: guests can make any pizza vegan by selecting the original dough and adding vegan sauce, protein and cheese. -- With founding Blaze Pizza investor LeBron James having close ties to the city of Cleveland, it feels appropriate that the company has partnered with Cleveland-based Green City Growers to source the hydroponic basil used in Blaze Pizza’s pesto. Basil from Green City Growers is pesticide-free and utilizes significantly less water than traditional farming. Employee-owned Green City Growers is one of the largest urban farms in the United States, encompassing more than a football field’s length of space for growing basil. Guests can try it on the Signature Green Stripe Pizza or add it to their unique creation.

“We consistently strive to keep intelligent choices top of mind, whether offering a new plant-based protein at no extra charge, or deciding to offer strawless lids to support larger, globally-relevant issues,” said president and CEO, Jim Mizes. “While we recognize these initiatives are launching around Earth Day, being a category leader in eco-friendliness is something we’re fire’d up about year-round.”

Note: Spicy Chorizo (vegan) and Garlic Pesto made with hydroponic basil are available at U.S. locations only.

About Blaze PizzaBlaze Pizza is a modern day “pizza joint” serving up artisanal pizzas that are both fast and affordable. With fans lining up or ordering online each day for their custom-built pizzas, freshly made salads, house made lemonades and s’more pies, the innovative fast-casual concept has quickly become one of the hottest restaurant chains in the country. Each restaurant features an interactive open-kitchen format that allows guests to customize one of the menu’s signature pizzas or create their own, choosing from a wide selection of real ingredients that are free of artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and sweeteners. The generously-sized pizzas are then sent to a blazing hot open-flame oven – the centerpiece of the restaurant – where dedicated pizzasmiths ensure the artisanal pies are fast-fire’d and ready to eat in just minutes. Restaurants make fresh dough from scratch using a proprietary recipe developed by Executive Chef Bradford Kent (the “Pizza Whisperer”), which requires a 24-hour fermentation period to produce his signature light-as-air, crisp crust. For pizza fans with specific dietary needs, Blaze Pizza offers gluten-free dough and vegan cheese.

Recently named #1 ‘Brand of the Year’ in the Fast Casual Top 100, the fast-growing chain currently operates 326 restaurants in 41 states and 5 countries. The concept is backed by private equity firm Brentwood Associates and founding investors which include LeBron James, Maria Shriver, movie producer John Davis and Boston Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner. For more information, please visit blazepizza.com and facebook.com/blazepizza or click here to view a company video. About Green City GrowersGreen City Growers produces tasty, nutrient-rich, pesticide-free produce year-round. Capitalizing on their custom built, state-of-the-art greenhouse, they produce millions of heads of lettuce and specialty greens and hundreds of thousands of pounds of herbs and micro greens every year. They are proud to be ranked as the largest food production greenhouse in a core urban area in the United States. Their social mission is to transform lives and local neighborhoods by creating green jobs and building financial assets for residents of underserved neighborhoods. Their employees are also part owners, sharing in the profits of their cooperative venture.

Media Contact:Josh LevittBlaze Pizza, LLC(949) 981-0757, josh.levitt@blazepizza.com

Blaze Pizza®, fast-fire’d®, the horizontal logo design, the proprietary name “pizzasmith” and related trademarks are the property of Blaze Pizza LLC.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/6d58cb11-8d88-452c-a4f5-6935389467de