Canadian Pizza Magazine

News Business and Operations
California Pizza Kitchen breaks ground in Edmonton


A rendering of the bar area of the Edmonton location of California Pizza Kitchen, now officially under construction. Photo courtesy CPK

Los Angeles, Calif. – October 28, 2021 – California Pizza Kitchen has broken ground on its first Canadian location in Edmonton, where the U.S. chain will introduce its California-style pizzas, pastas and salads working with longtime Alberta restaurateur Samira Shariff.

Located within the Currents of Windermere shopping center, the new Edmonton location is the first of many CPK locations planned in the province over the next eight years. Once up and running, the 4,500-square-foot indoor space and 1,800-square-foot enclosed, heated patio is expected to seat 225 people and will offer all of CPK’s menu items including the Original BBQ Chicken Pizza, The California Club Pizza, The Thai Crunch Salad, and a range of other “Cali Health” infused items.

The California Pizza Kitchen team breaks ground on its Edmonton location, the first in Canada. Photo courtesy CPK

As the CEO of CPK’s Alberta location, Naheed Shariff brings more than 25 years of experience in the restaurant franchising industry coupled with the 40 years of experience his mother and partner, Samira Shariff, brings. Together, Naheed and Samira have helped successful brands grow in the Alberta region and are excited to bring California Pizza Kitchen into Edmonton. They were featured on the cover of Canadian Pizza magazine in 2009 as recipients of the Pizza With Purpose award.

“Beyond welcoming new guests, we’re eager to partner with this iconic global brand to help support the local economy by creating more than 100 stable jobs for those in the food and beverage industry,” said Naheed Shariff.

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“Expanding our franchise operations now beyond the U.S. is a top priority for CPK and affirms our broader strategy for long term growth in our international markets,” said Giorgio Minardi, executive vice-president of global development and fanchise operations at CPK. “Since announcing the partnership in 2020, our excitement continues to grow for the Alberta market and we have every confidence in Naheed and Samira to deliver an excellent guest experience beginning with Edmonton.”

California Pizza Kitchen also has plans to open restaurants in additional markets throughout the country, including Vancouver, British Columbia and Toronto, Ontario.

Established in 1985, California Pizza Kitchen operates more than 240 restaurants in 10 countries and U.S. territories.