Chad Talbott started working as a bus boy for a chain pizza operation at age 15.
He’s made pizza restaurants his career, eventually serving as director of training for the Kansas City and St. Louis markets of another chain operation before becoming a Pizza Street franchisee. But when his franchisee agreement expired, he decided not to renew it, but to go out on his own with a new concept.
At his new Topp’d Pizza , Talbott focuses on fresh ingredients for personal-sized pizzas — made-to-order and served in about five minutes — along with craft beers.
“We wanted to get away from the franchise concept,” Talbott said. “We wanted to branch off and do our own thing instead of creating their idea over and over again.”
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There are no microwaves or freezers at the shop at 3934 Rainbow Blvd., across from the University of Kansas Medical Center, and every ingredient comes in fresh.
Talbott, now 31, uses hand-prepared dough made in-house from scratch, all-natural sauce, meats sliced in-house and freshly shredded cheese.
Customers walk down the counter, first selecting their crust — original, garlic and herb, honey wheat or gluten-free. Then they select a house-made sauce (red tomato, Alfredo cream, buttermilk dressing, Thai peanut, KC-Style BBQ or olive oil blend) and cheese (fresh-shredded mozzarella blend, fresh shredded cheddar cheese, Mediterranean herb feta, blue cheese or a dairy-free vegan).
Toppings include nitrate-free pepperoni, cage free chicken, char-grilled Italian sausage, antibiotic-free pulled pork, smoked Canadian bacon, chopped meatballs, Applewood smoked bacon, black or green olives, jalapenos, roasted garlic, baby spinach, and banana peppers.
Signature pizzas include the Monster Meat (with red sauce, cheddar, pepperoni, Italian sausage, Canadian bacon, chopped beef meatballs and bacon), the Thai Peanut (with Thai peanut sauce, mozzarella, chicken, red onions, shredded carrots, jalapenos, fresh basil and roasted peanuts) and the Kansas City BBQ (with barbecue sauce, cheddar, pulled pork slow-roasted in-house and caramelized onions).
Single topping pizzas are $5.99 but most customers opt for the $6.99 build-your-own or Topp’d signature pizzas.
Talbott also commissioned pieces by Shawnee’s Baker Medlock Metal Sculptor.
He is continually tweaking operations and hopes to soon offer Happy Hour and Late Night Happy Hour specials, and he plans to put up televisions.
The 39Rainbow project, in Kansas City, Kan., includes an 83-room Holiday Inn Express, a 7-Eleven and a Five Guys Burgers and Fries, with parking on-site.
About 97,000 people live within 3 miles of the project, and 265,500 within 5 miles, according to property brokers Lane4 Property Group. More than 117,700 daytime employees are within 3 miles and more than 271,900 within 5 miles.
Overland Park’s Joy Wok expanding
Overland Park’s Joy Wok Super Buffet & Hibachi Grill, a sushi, buffet and Asian-fusion restaurant, plans to open a Northland location in late March or early April. It is taking the former Golden Corral space at 8320 N. Church Road.
To reach Joyce Smith, call 816-234-4692 or send email to email@example.com. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter at JoyceKC