July 30, 2012 |

Conversation with EJ Martinez, Power Pizzeria, South Beach, FL

By Pizza Today

EJ Martinez, Power Pizzeria, South Beach, FLEJ breaks down his healthy pizza concept, its growth potential and its whey protein dough

Power Pizzeria
South Beach, Florida

EJ Martinez first conceptu­alized Power Pizzeria while a disc jockey in South Beach, Florida in 2004. After rebooting the concept with four com­pany-owned locations in south Florida, Martinez began franchis­ing the pizzeria this year.

Everybody knows that ‘fat pizza feeling’ you get after chomping down a greasy pizza with high fat and sodium. Our pizza lets the customers indulge in their favorite foods without the guilt! We do this by blending whey protein in all of our dough. We also use a part-skim mozzarella cheese and top our pizzas with all-natural meat top­pings and fresh cut veggies. The com­bination leaves consumers with a less greasy pizza and a much better and sat­isfied feeling afterwards. The end result is a pizza that tastes great and makes the customer feel good about themselves both physically and mentally.

Whey protein is a high quality complete protein that contains all of the essential amino acids your body needs. It is easy to digest and helps maintain a healthy weight. We decided to add whey protein to our dough because it adds a high quality protein to a food that traditionally has been all carbohydrates. It also adds a nice crisp to the pizza dough.

After closing the first Power Piz­zeria in 2004, I felt that we had an amazing concept with great potential. The problem was not the concept. The problem was my lack of knowledge. I took a step back and learned everything that I needed to know about the industry and applied what I learned from my mistakes in my first restaurant. I attended Pizza Expo in Vegas, and hired consultants to refine my system. I’ve learned from trial and error and I’ve built training, purchasing and marketing systems that work.

Franchising was always the goal. I know the Power Pizzeria concept is a winner and I feel that franchising will let us grow at a rapid pace that we would not be able to achieve by owning all of our stores.

I wanted to take my time developing our concept and making sure that our systems were in place. Our goal was always to open four stores and then franchise. Owning multiple stores has allowed us to know how our business works and will allow us to properly train franchisees and make sure that they are profitable.

Our goal is to open 50 stores in the next five years.