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NakedPizza signs 50-unit deal

NEW ORLEANS La. NakedPizza, the single-unit healthful pizza concept that has attracted heavy-hitting investors, has signed a 50-unit development deal for South Florida, including Miami.

The deal is with Florida NKP LLC, which a Naked Pizza spokesman said on Monday is led by an international team of multi-unit foodservice veterans who have operated more than 77 fast-food, casual and fine-dining concepts throughout Latin America and Florida. At press time, information on the executives involved and the brands they have operated was unavailable.

Investors in NakedPizza, which is known as a social-media-savvy, “functional food” take-out and pizza delivery brand, include Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and The Kraft Group LLC, a privately held company based in Foxborough, Mass., with investments in professional sports, including the New England Patriots and Gillette Stadium, as well as manufacturing and real-estate development. In September 2009, The Kraft Group aligned itself with NakedPizza’s growth through an investment deal, terms of which were undisclosed.

“Florida NKP’s team brings the same deep commitment to mission, operational expertise and innovation shared by all of our investors and area developers,” Randy Crochet, NakedPizza’s co-founder and chief executive, said. “All money is not the same. The folks we’re talking to have considerable resources, but we only partner with people who embrace our mission.”

NakedPizza has said it is carefully choosing its franchise partners from those that believe in the company’s health-oriented philosophy.

Jeff Leach, NakedPizza’s other co-founder, added: “Our mission is to take pizza and fast food to the next level, from an industry contributing to the problems associated with the epidemic of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, Crohn’s [disease], etc., and the unsustainable cost of health care, to one aligned with human physiology and the desire for health and well-being.”

NakedPizza’s crusts include 10 whole grains, seeds and nuts and are fortified with pre-biotics and probiotics, and topped with all natural sauce, cheese, meat and vegetables. The chain also uses no sugar, trans fats or high fructose corn syrup.

NakedPizza said it plans to have area development contracts for most major U.S. markets by the end of the first quarter.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected].

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