San Diego Business Journal

Blaze Plans New Pizza Restaurant in Encinitas

By Lou Hirsh Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Pasadena-based Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, a fast-casual build-your-own pizza restaurant, plans a second-quarter opening for its new eatery in Encinitas.

The restaurant will be the company’s second in San Diego County, following an opening last year at Carlsbad Premium Outlets. The 76-seat Encinitas eatery, with an outdoor patio, will open at 127 N. El Camino Real, in the Encinitas Village retail center.

The Encinitas location will be operated by Dough Boys Consulting Inc., a franchise group led by Jeff Baker and Jason Baker.

Company officials said Blaze uses an interactive “assembly line” format, in which customers choose the toppings and the pizza is then speed-baked in a high-temperature, open-hearth oven. The cooking process takes two to three minutes, with an 11-inch pie priced around $7.

Each location makes its own dough from scratch, and there are options including gluten-free dough and vegan cheese. The menu also includes salads, lemonades, wine and craft beer.

The privately held Blaze was founded by Elise and Rick Wetzel, who also co-founded Pasadena-based Wetzel’s Pretzels. Officials said Blaze’s investors include NBA star LeBron James, former NBC News reporter and California first lady Maria Shriver, and Boston Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner.

Blaze currently operates 12 restaurants nationwide, with 20 more set to open later this year, according to its website.