Pie Five Pizza to Take Slice of Michigan Market with First Detroit Location


Pie Five Pizza Co., a new fast-casual restaurant concept, is expected to open its first Michigan location this summer in downtown Detroit, with plans for more locations in the state in the next few years.

Father-son business duo John “J.D.” Draper and John Draper II, who were recently awarded 55 franchise units in Michigan and Wisconsin, plan to open three to six units in southeastern Michigan in 2015, and expand throughout the state over the next seven years. The exact locations will be announced as property deals are confirmed.

“Michigan is the birthplace of many national brands, so we know there’s a certain desire for pizza here,” says J.D., who is transitioning from his position as president of operations at V&J Holding Companies Inc., which encompasses 125 units and six brands in six states, in order to work full-time with his son John. “Pie Five satisfies the palette in terms of being a pizza brand, but it also satisfies the uniqueness of the customer experience. You can purchase your pizza, see it prepared, and in five minutes, you’re able to consume it.”

At each Pie Five location, customers pick their preferred crust — artisan thin, classic pan, whole grain Neapolitan, or gluten-free thin — followed by their choices among seven sauces, four cheeses, eight meats, and 16 veggies. Pie Five staff then places the pizza in a specially designed oven, which bakes the order within two minutes.

“I know everybody is going to try to distinguish themselves as something more than maybe they are, but this is different,” John says. “Everything is fresh. We make our dough in-house. Almost 90 percent of everything that touches the table is organic.

Each of the units will range between 2,000 and 2,500-square-feet, says John, adding that they expect to hire about 25 to 30 employees for the first location.

Pie Five currently has 29 locations in Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia. Looking forward, there are more than 400 company-owned and franchise units under contract in 16 states and Washington, D.C.

For more information, visit piefivepizza.com.