Canadian Pizza Magazine

California Pizza Kitchen coming to Canada

By Canadian Pizza   

News Business and Operations Catering & Expansion

Giorgio Minardi, executive vice-president of Global Development and Franchise Operations at California Pizza Kitchen, and Naheed Shariff, CPK franchisee.

Los Angeles – California Pizza Kitchen plans to bring its signature California-style pizzas, pastas, salads and more to Canada for the first time.

The full-service dining brand’s first Canada location will open in Edmonton in the coming months, the first of five locations planned in the province over the next eight years, the company said in a news release.

Longtime Alberta restaurateur Samira Shariff will operate the Edmonton franchise. Shariff has nearly 40 years of experience building successful restaurant brands in Alberta as a multi-unit franchise owner and operator in Edmonton. In addition, her son Naheed has more than 25 years of experience in restaurant franchising and will serve as chief executive officer of CPK in Alberta.

Founded in Beverly Hills, Calif., in 1985, California Pizza Kitchen’s specialty is combining unexpected flavours and high-quality ingredients. It is known for its bestselling Original BBQ Chicken Pizza and cauliflower pizza crust.

Giorgio Minardi, executive vice-president of Global Development and Franchise Operations at California Pizza Kitchen, said, “We’re very proud to welcome Samira and Naheed to the CPK family as our first franchise partners in Canada. Their enthusiasm for our brand coupled with their deep experience developing successful polished casual and fast-casual restaurant brands in Alberta make them the perfect partners to bring CPK into Canada for the first time.”

“On behalf of Samira and our team, we couldn’t be more excited and proud to be partnering with California Pizza Kitchen as their first franchisee to bring the brand to Canada,” said Naheed Shariff. “Every time we’ve visited the U.S. over the years, our family has always made a point of eating at CPK. What we admire about the brand is its continuous evolution, forward thinking with modern tastes, from experimenting with new flavours and ingredients, to being leaders in better-for-you options, such as gluten-free and veggie-based Cauliflower Pizza Crust.”

California Pizza Kitchen has more than 240 locations in 10 countries and U.S. territories. The franchise intends to expand to Vancouver and Toronto.

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