Your Pie Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary With a Bang
Drew French is founder of Your Pie.
Drew French was barely 24 years old when he and his wife, Natalie, honeymooned in Ischia, Italy, and their idea to launch Your Pie pizza was born. Fast forward 10 years, and their history is customers’ gain.
Your Pie, based in Athens, Georgia, with 56 stores, is running two months of promotions in celebration of its 10-year anniversary that culminate in a grand prize of $5,000 toward a trip to Ischia, where it all began.
“That’s where her family is from,” French says when reached on vacation with his family (sorry, Drew). “We got immersed in the culture and that’s where the light bulb went off.”
It’s hard to figure, now that build-your-own pizza brands are everywhere, but in 2008 “we had this idea to make Your Pie different from any other pizza place. At the time, nobody was doing what we were doing.
“We’re excited about 10 years. It feels like it’s been a really long marathon,” French said. “We wanted to celebrate not just where we’ve been but where we’re going.”
French said the other brands don’t bother him, nor do the competing claims about who was the first to start a fast-casual pizza brand—this reporter alone has covered at least four entrepreneurs who make that claim in the pages of Franchise Times. “You have to look at a calendar to know who is first,” French insists, and Your Pie’s debut date is April 2008.
“I wasn’t surprised that other people entered into the category. I think it’s been good for the category that others have come in and added to the awareness of fast-casual pizza,” French said. “When we first opened that was one of the biggest challenges,” that people didn’t know what to do with the choose-your-own-toppings idea.
The promotion wraps up in the middle of August. Your Pie has displayed pieces of its history on six limited-edition pizza boxes that will be released throughout the summer. Using the hashtag #expressyourinnerpizza, customers can post a photo of their box to Instagram or Twitter to enter and win a prize.
Prizes include a trip to Florida for a tasting experience with GS Gelato, Your Pie’s gelato purveyor; a Your Pie franchise fee to a qualified winner; a custom, handmade outdoor table from Your Pie’s artisanal table vendor, Made in Monroe; and of course that trip. “Then we’ll look forward to sending the winner to Italy,” French said.