816 Business

Liberty’s new MOD Pizza offers made-to-order artisan pizzas

MOD’s pizza are made-to-order.
MOD’s pizza are made-to-order. jsmith@kcstar.com

One of the fastest growing fast-casual pizza chains has entered the market with a Liberty location and more area locations to come.

MOD Pizza, a Bellevue, Wash.-based chain, offers made-to-order individual artisan-style pizzas using fresh-pressed dough, its signature sauces and a choice of more than 30 toppings - including spinach, seasonal roasted vegetables, bacon, crumbled meatballs, dairy-free cheese and pesto drizzle - for about $7.87. It also has a mini version for $4.87 and a mega with double-crust for $9.88. The pizzas are baked in an 800-degree oven in about three minutes.

The new location is in The Shoppes at Liberty Triangle, 1912 Star Drive, Suite A&B.

Scott and Ally Svenson were founders of the chain in 2008. They had previously started Seattle Coffee Co. in the United Kingdom but sold the chain to Starbucks in 1998. After returning to the Seattle area, they wanted more affordable, healthy restaurant offerings for their family and MOD was conceived.

Four of the specialty pizzas are named after the Svensons’ sons: the Dillon James with mozzarella, asiago, fresh chopped basil, garlic, sliced tomatoes and red sauce; the Tristan with mozzarella, asiago, roasted red peppers, mushrooms and pesto; the Jasper with mozzarella, mushrooms, spicy Italian sausage and red sauce; and the Caspian with mozzarella, gorgonzola, barbecue chicken, barbecue sauce, and sliced red onions.

MOD, which stands for made-on-demand, also offers seasonal pizzas like the current Ulysses, salads, hand-spun milkshakes, house-made lemonade, iced tea, local craft beers and wine.

Along with the Liberty location, area franchisee Scott Womack of Womack Restaurants Inc. in Terre Haute, Ind., plans to open 14 more locations in the metro area and Kansas by 2021. While most of Womack's locations will be in the metro, he also is considering markets like Lawrence and St. Joseph. He also has 11 Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen locations in the Kansas City area, as well as four in Tulsa, Okla.

MOD also is on Technomic’s list of the five-fastest growing chains in the country by year-to-year sales, along with two other fast casual pizza concepts — Pieology and Blaze Pizza. MOD, which is quickly adding new locations, posted a 182 percent increase in 2015 from 2014, according to Technomic.

Joyce Smith: 816-234-4692, @JoyceKC