A new fast-casual, custom pizza concept is expanding rapidly in Arizona with plans for eight locations by the end of the year, including one in Ahwatukee Foothills.

Fired Pie opened just last year and already has five locations in the Valley. Four more are planned through the end of the year.

The Ahwatukee location is expected to open at the end of September next to the AMC Theatres in the Ahwatukee Foothills Towne Center, 4711 E. Ray Road.

“We feel that there’s over 65 Chipotles in Arizona, and we feel there should be at least 40 or 50 Fired Pies in Arizona,” said Fred Morgan, one of the company’s three owners. “That’s our growth right now. We’re looking just in Arizona. We like the community. We like being part of the community. We do a lot with the community. That’s something we really want to be a part of.”

Morgan and his partners, Doug Doyle and Rico Cuomo, met working for California Pizza Kitchen. They were part of the company when it opened 50 stores in 18 months, so the thought of quick growth doesn’t scare them, Morgan said.

“This concept is a lot different from that,” he said. “There’s simplicity in it. We only do one thing, pizza and salad. We don’t over complicate it. We keep it simple. With our expertise, we don’t see it as being a problem. Knock on wood, our stores have been making money from Day 1 since we’ve opened.”

Even with the rapid growth, the owners are heavily involved in each store.

“On any given night, you will see one of us working behind the counter,” Cuomo said. “We are hands-on and proud of what we do and what we have been able to accomplish thus far.”

Fired Pie is set up so customers walk in and choose pizza or salad. They choose their sauce, cheese, meats and veggies and then the pizza goes into the oven and is ready in minutes.

The company already has a Chandler location on Ray Road near Loop 101 that attracts customers from businesses during the day and families at night.

“You can’t beat the quality, and the concept is great,” said Woody Farnsworth, a regular at the Chandler location. “You can get anything you want for one price. I won’t go anywhere else for pizza.”

For more information on the company, visit FiredPie.com.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com.

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