by Nancy Stiles
We're always up for more pizza, so we're pretty excited that Pie Five is bringing its fast-casual pizza concept to St. Louis. The Houston-based chain is expanding nationwide (and with a St. Louis-raised senior vice president, no less) with twenty locations in the St. Louis area later this year.
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Fast casual is a great concept for people on the go (it's right in the name), but up until now, St. Louis has been lacking a quick option for pizza. St. Louis native Jamey Tasker and his partners are bringing Pie Five to town, where you can get hand-crafted, made-to-order pizzas in just five minutes.
"Once I tasted the food, I was like, 'Man, this is it.' I knew it was the way to go," Tasker tells us. He then brought his partners and their families in, and they loved it, too. "We're St. Louis natives -- we live on both sides of the river, and we just wanted to bring something that would be a good product for St. Louis and give the customers a new experience."
Senior vice president Chris Smith likens the Pie Five business model to Chipotle. You go in, choose your dough, your sauce, your toppings and the pizza is ready in five minutes. "We grew up on Imo's and things like that," Smith says. "I think pizza is very popular in and I think it's a good fit."
Tasker says they don't have locations locked down yet, but are working with brokers to find the best venues possible for Pie Five. "We want to make sure we get the best location possible and provide great service and a quality product to hopefully maximize our chances of success," he says.
Smith says the hard part will be to familiarize St. Louis with the Pie Five brand -- four different crusts, seven sauces, three cheeses and tons of vegetable and meat toppings. Tasker also says Pie Five in St, Louis will be committed to the community and will particpate in fundraisers, events and work with local charities.
"We just are excited to bring this product to St. Louis," Tasker says. "I think once people try it, it really will only take one time before they go, 'Wow -- It really is that good.'"