Sports and pizza go together. But while NFL star Peyton Manning kicks it old school with a bunch of Papa John’s in weed-friendly Colorado, fellow MVP LeBron James is going for a newer slice of the pie. James and other celebs are backing entrepreneurs Rick and Elise Wetzel’s Blaze Pizza. And Blaze is on fire like LeBron in the NBA Finals. The Blaze Pizza chain opened 50 restaurants across the US in 2014. And it plans to open 70 or so by the time 2015 comes to a close. That’s a new Blaze Pizza restaurant somewhere every five days.
If the Wetzel name sounds familiar, it’s because you may have eaten one of their butter-soaked pretzels in a mall. Yup, Rick and Elise Wetzel founded Wetzel’s Pretzels too, so their track record of growth is pretty powerful. The Blaze play is fast, fun, friendly and filled with choices of excellent ingredients. It doesn’t look much like what you get from Peyton and Papa John’s — and that’s very much the point.