Each year, we mail out surveys to independent pizzerias across the nation. Using their responses, we compile our Hot 100 list — a ranking of America’s 100 largest independent pizza operations (based on sales). This issue is eagerly devoured by Pizza Today’s readers and the list you’ll see on pages 62 and 63 is a testament to the ingenuity, diligence and skill of the pizzeria owners who make the grade.
Pizza Today’s Top Six include:
1. Marion’s Piazza
Marion’s is our new No. 1 in this year’s Hot 100. With nine locations and $19.35 million in annual sales, the pizzeria has stayed true to its roots of large dining rooms and a consistent menu. Read a Conversation with owner Roger Glass on page 16 to learn more about this successful operation.
2. Pitfire Artisan Pizza
Pizza Today’s 2013 Independent Pizzeria of the Year, Pitfire has raised 10 spots from last year, increasing its four locations to seven and grossing $18.5 million. Developed in 1998, Pitfire has evolved into a thriving artisan concept in the Los Angeles market.
3. Glass Nickel Pizza Co.
The eco-friendly pizza company has grown this year, adding a unit (nine total) and increasing sales to $15 million. Each location owns alternative fuel vehicles that can run on used vegetable oil. Glass Nickel opened in 1997 and some of its earliest employees now own one of the pizzeria’s locations.
4. Woodstock’s Pizza
San Diego, California
The eight-unit operation has grown to $14.5 million, up more than $2 million from 2012. Opened as a college hangout at Oregon State University in 1977 by Chuck Woodstock and Mike Chew, long-time employee Jeff Ambrose now owns the pizza company.
5. Frankie, Johnnie & Luigi, Too!
Family-owned for more than 50 years, Frankie, Johnnie & Luigi, Too! earned $13 million in annual sales with its five locations. The D’Ambrosio family opened the original location in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1958. Today, World Pizza Champion John D’Ambrosio is co-owner of the pizza company.
6. Pizza Cottage
Buckeye Lake, Ohio
The Columbus, Ohio, area pizzeria opened its sixth location in Circleville in June 2013, one of two locations to open in the past year. The first Pizza Cottage opened in Buckeye Lake in 1972. The pizza company grosses $12.5 million in annual sales.
Click here to view the entire Hot 100 Independent Pizzerias list.