LOS ANGELES, July 09, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, the recognized world leader in fast artisanal pizza, is giving fans in Santa Cruz a reason to celebrate. This Thursday, July 12th, the leading fast casual brand will open a beautiful 2,500 square foot open kitchen restaurant with interior seating for 68, and an exterior patio, on Mission Street near Starbucks (1901 Mission Street).

Since 2012, Blaze Pizza has been serving artisanal pies that are both fast and affordable. Each restaurant features an interactive open kitchen format that allows guests to customize one of the menu’s generously sized personal signature pizzas or create your own, all for around $8. Every pizza features our made-from-scratch dough crafted in house daily, all-natural meats and vegetables, and is finished in an open flame oven which cooks pizzas in three minutes flat. For guests with special dietary needs, Blaze offers gluten-free dough, vegan cheese, animal rennet free dairy, and tree-nut free pesto. Each of these elements have assisted the brand with becoming the fastest growing restaurant in history.

To celebrate the opening of the company’s newest locally-owned and operated Santa Cruz restaurant, anyone who visits Blaze’s new location on Friday, July 13th from 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and follows the brand on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook will receive a FREE build your own pizza! Don’t forget to grab a freshly-made salad, iconic blood orange lemonade, ice-cold beer, or s’more pie dessert on your way out. “Our mission at Blaze is really simple – we’re taking pizza back to its roots,” said Jim Mizes, president & CEO of Blaze Pizza. “By making dough in-house, using carefully sourced ingredients, and cooking by fire, we’re giving guests a great way to enjoy artisanal pizza without the wait. It’s changing the way people think about and eat pizza.” Blaze’s obsessive attention to detail extends well beyond the food. Driven by its commitment to “Intelligent Choices for Our Pizzas, People & Planet,” the Santa Cruz restaurant is constructed with recycled and sustainable materials, uses eco-friendly packaging, and features energy-efficient LED lighting. The restaurant's stylized design was inspired by our celebration of unconventional thinking and individuality.

Blaze Pizza is looking forward to building strong roots within the Santa Cruz community. The local restaurant has developed a turn-key in-restaurant fundraiser program that returns 20% of an event’s proceeds back to local organizations, and will be partnering with local schools, sports clubs and other organizations to host fundraising events. The Santa Cruz restaurant will also create 50 jobs locally.

Martha Olmos, Blaze Pizza Franchisee said, “We are excited to expand in the Monterey Bay market and we are pleased to be a part of the wonderful community culture of Santa Cruz.”

About Blaze Pizza

The first Blaze Pizza® restaurant opened on Aug. 6, 2012, in Irvine, Calif., and quickly gained attention for its chef-driven recipes, thoughtful interior design, and a service culture that celebrates individuality. Recently named ‘#1 Brand of the Year’ in the 2017 Fast Casual Top 100, the fast-growing chain currently operates over 270 restaurants in 40 states, Canada and Middle East, including the major metropolitan areas of Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Las Vegas, Boston, and Toronto. Founded by Elise and Rick Wetzel (co-founder of Wetzel’s Pretzels), the concept is backed by private equity firm Brentwood Associates and founding investors that include LeBron James, Maria Shriver, movie producer John Davis and Boston Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner. For more information, visit www.blazepizza.com or www.facebook.com/blazepizza or click here to view a company video.

Media Contact:Joshua Levitt, Press Relations Josh.Levitt@blazepizza.com 949-215-1438

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/aef735af-9e56-403a-8d17-c27dd88f63ec.