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California Pizza Kitchen marks entry into Canada with Edmonton

California Pizza Kitchen has aggressive expansion plans for the Canadian market and will open its first location in Edmonton on August 1.
California Pizza Kitchen has aggressive expansion plans for the Canadian market and will open its first location in Edmonton on August 1.

California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) has announced the grand opening of its Edmonton, Alta., location, marking the brand’s entry into Canada.

The opening is part of the brand’s latest efforts to strategically expand across target markets throughout North America, as new operators join its franchise model. Located on Windemere Boulevard, the new restaurant will open its doors to the public on August 1.

Fueling the expansion is CPK Alberta CEO Naheed Shariff, who brings more than 25 years of experience in the restaurant franchising industry, and his mother Samira, CPK Edmonton franchisee with four decades of experience. Together, Naheed and Samira have helped successful brands grow in the Alberta region and are excited to bring California Pizza Kitchen into Edmonton.

“We were first introduced to California Pizza Kitchen in the mid 1990s and were immediately inspired by its culture and innovation. We’re honoured and excited to bring this iconic, forward-thinking brand to Canada for the first time, while simultaneously attributing to job creation here in Alberta,” said Naheed. “CPK offers a fun, healthy, alternative experience that guests long for, and we’re thrilled to offer Edmonton residents a taste of that. The brand’s innovative, California-fresh cuisine combined with the benevolent culture of the people truly solidified the deal.”

The new location will provide guests with seasonal menus and ingredients featuring flavor inspirations from around the world, resulting in CPK’s hand-tossed pizzas, pastas, desserts, and beverage program, including signature Casamigos cocktails. According to a media release, CPK is known for its “hand-made, innovative, fresh-forward menu,” and provides a “refreshing experience offering guests its signature look, feel and taste of California.”

As part of its efforts to give back to the community it serves, California Pizza Kitchen Edmonton has partnered with the Cross Cancer Institute to help raise funds for residents throughout Alberta who are battling cancer.

“The Shariffs are well-known and highly respected throughout Edmonton, and we are absolutely thrilled to partner with them as they lead California Pizza Kitchen into Canada for the first time,” said Giorgio Minardi, executive vice president of global and franchise Operations. “This milestone for our brand serves as a testament to the innovative business model we’ve created and will further propel our franchise growth efforts on a global scale. We’re proud to welcome such experienced operators like Naheed and Samira and can’t wait to see what the future holds for them as they bring our signature, California-inspired cuisine to the residents of Edmonton.”

The media release states California Pizza Kitchen provides franchisees flexibility with customizable menus, design layouts, and multiple daypart offerings so that
each location can individually align with consumer needs and thrive within their market. These key factors, along with an average unit volume between $3 million and $5 million, have positioned the brand as an “attractive investment by experienced multi-unit franchisees.” “California Pizza Kitchen prioritizes catering to franchisees’ needs, providing them with the tools and resources required, including expanding technology and mobile capabilities for each location, best-in-class training, and development in all areas of the business,” the release reads.

California Pizza Kitchen is amid an aggressive expansion in markets throughout the U.S. and is looking to add experienced, qualified multi-unit franchisees to grow the brand. To learn more about franchise development opportunities and available markets with California Pizza Kitchen, visit www.cpk.com/franchise.

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