Making it Big
Vacaville's own Pizza Pucks Expects to go Nationwide
By Amanda Janis/Business Writer
A rapidly expanding Vacaville-based corporation expects to get the green light soon from the Federal Trade Commission to sell its food franchises.
Original Pizza Pucks CEO Eric Frakes said that "after three years of work with the FTC and about $350,000 in attorneys fees," the company anticipates final approval to arrive and to begin selling franchises in the first quarter of next year.
During the next five years, 11,000 new stores are projected to open nationwide, he said, with expansion concentrated at first in California, Nevada, Washington and Oregon.
Original Pizza Pucks has already received 500-600 inquiries and requests from would-be franchise owners, according to Frakes.
"We've got potential franchisees that have been waiting almost three years," he said.
The cost to open an Original Pizza Pucks franchise will be $45,000 for a franchises's first store, and $15,000 for additional stores. Total cost - from design to completion - will range from $225,000 to $300,000, Frakes estimated.
"We literally take you to turn-key," he said of the corporation's plans to interact with franchisees. Potential franchise owners will train for two weeks at the company's Vacaville headquarters, and each new store will have corporate employees in lead kitchen and managerial roles for the first month of operation.
"We're unique - we didn't just start another pizza franchise," he said, explaining that the firm's menu offers much more than just pizza, and that most new stores feature wireless internet access and flat-screen televisions.
And, according to Frakes, his is the only nationwide food franchise, to his knowledge, to ever originate from Vacaville.
At the beginning of November, Original Pizza Pucks opened its new headquarters and training facility on Vaca Valley Parkway, though the company intends to build its own facility in the Vacaville area in approximately three years. Frakes said they were looking at several possible sites in the same general vicinity.
The first store, at the Vacaville Premium Outlets, was opened in 2001 by Frakes as a sole proprietorship, after developing the signature Pizza Puck - a pizza that resembles the size and shape of a cinnamon roll. Original Pizza Pucks later incorporated in 2002, and its first franchise opened a year later in Sacramento.
Currently Original Pizza Pucks operates six stores under licensing agreements that will convert to franchising agreements. Local locations include the Vacaville Premium Outlets, Brenden Theatres, Six Flags Marine World in Vallejo and Westfield Shoppingtown Solano mall in Fairfield.
Amanda Janis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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