Make us your home page
Instagram

Papa Murphy's brings take-and-bake pizza to Tampa Bay area?

Let's ponder our pizza choices.

There's thin crust or thick. Flatbread and fold up. Gas, wood or coal-fired oven. From Domino's delivered to DiGiorno from the freezer.

And now, newcomer Papa Murphy's. They make it. You bake it.

At first blush, this other Papa pizza sounds like a flimsy franchised business proposition. No delivery. No oven. No freezer. Customers must cook their fresh-made meal for 20 minutes within two nights because it should not be frozen.

Stores, which at $250,000 cost less to launch than a Subway, are a simple pizza assembly line. Yet a steady stream of customers Saturday flowed in to the first bay area Papa Murphy's at 8402 Little Road near Port Richey.

Papa Murphy's is by far the biggest player with 1,300 stores in 37 states, but it hardly has the take-and-bake market to itself. A few rivals with ovens offer the option. Walmart sells prepackaged but never frozen pizzas.

"But what our customers really love is the complete control over what they're eating," said Kevin King, chief development officer of the Vancouver, Wash., chain that sold $700 million in take-home pizzas in 2011. He sees six or more new stores in the bay area annually.

Customers pick from 20 toppings and guide construction up close. Choices include four sauces, three fresh-shredded cheeses, five meats, three types of onions plus artichoke hearts, garlic or zucchini.

A standard family-size packs a pound of cheese. The stuffed five-meat special tips the scales at 5 pounds.

Because it's not a cooked meal, purchases qualify for food stamps, which accounts for about 10 percent of sales.

Prices range from $9 for a one-topping family-size pizza to $13 for a five-meat stuffed pizza.

"I switched from Walmart because of the quality and the price," said Earl Moore, a Seven Springs retiree. "I fed my euchre club three family-size pizzas for less than $30 last week."

Jostling for Joe. With the first Trader Joe's in Florida set to open Thursday in part of an empty Borders bookstore in Naples, competition has heightened among cities eager to land the eclectic, New Age grocer's stores as a civic retail amenity. The Downtown Development Authority in West Palm Beach is filming the City Commission for a pitch and launched a "what would we trade for a Trader Joe's" contest. "Why they are going to Naples before us, I just don't understand," sniffed Mayor Jeri Muoio in the Palm Beach Post. No news on Trader Joe's in the bay area.

Games people play. Intel and video game producer Possible Worldwide built a prototype 12-foot touch-screen video game wall for HSN that offers a new type of physical selling presence for the St. Petersburg e-commerce company.

The game wall dispenses coupons to winners, accepts email addresses to dispatch product information and uses quick response codes to initiate online purchases. HSN is weighing how to deploy the unit, which will be used as a promotional rather than a sales tool for now. It may hit the food festivals or trade show circuit.

"I'd love to put one in the Orlando or Tampa airport," said Jill Braff, HSN executive vice president of digital content.

Mark Albright can be reached at albright@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8252.

Papa Murphy's brings take-and-bake pizza to Tampa Bay area? 02/06/12 [Last modified: Monday, February 6, 2012 8:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 'Road to Nowhere' is back: Next phase of Suncoast Parkway coming

    Roads

    Despite intense public opposition and dubious traffic projections, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced that construction of the toll road known as "Suncoast 2" is expected to start in early 2018.

    The Suncoast Parkway ends at U.S. 98 just south of Citrus County. For years residents have opposed extending the toll road, a project dubbed the "Suncoast 2" into Citrus County. But state officials recently announced that the Suncoast 2 should start construction in early 2018. [Stephen J. Coddington  |  TIMES]
  2. A sports rout on Wall Street

    Retail

    NEW YORK — Sporting goods retailers can't shake their losing streak.

  3. Grocery chain Aldi hosting hiring event in Brandon Aug. 24

    Retail

    BRANDON — German grocery chain Aldi is holding a hiring event for its Brandon store Aug. 24. It is looking to fill store associate, shift manager and manager trainee positions.

  4. Lightning owner Jeff Vinik backs film company pursuing global blockbusters

    Corporate

    TAMPA — Jeff Vinik's latest investment might be coming to a theater near you.

    Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay Lightning owner, invested in a new movie company looking to appeal to a global audience. | [Times file photo]
  5. Trigaux: Look to new Inc. 5000 rankings for Tampa Bay's future heavyweights

    Business

    There's a whole lotta fast-growing private companies here in Tampa Bay. Odds are good you have not heard of most of them.

    Yet.

    Kyle Taylor, CEO and founder of The Penny Hoarder, fills a glass for his employees this past Wednesday as the young St. Petersburg personal advice business celebrates its landing at No. 25 on the 2017 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the country. Taylor, still in his 20s, wins kudos from executive editor Alexis Grant for keeping the firm's culture innovative. The business ranked No. 32 last year. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]