California's Persona Neapolitan Pizzeria in Santa Barbara has huge plans for the future. The Neapolitan-style pizza concept, whose pies are concocted by a certified Italian pizzaiolo (Glenn Cybulski) and classically trained chef (Joseph Baumel), hopes to open 250 new locations nationwide in the next five years, 20 of which will be in South Florida. Co-founder of Persona Cybulski is teaming up with Steve Sager, a Miami Beach native and 30-year veteran of the franchise industry who has developed more than 200 Subway restaurants throughout New Jersey and Florida. Sager says he hopes to open seven of those 20 South Florida restaurants in Miami and that he has his eyes on Mary Brickell Village, Miami Beach, Coral Gables and Aventura, among other areas. The first SoFla outpost is slated to open before year's end.
It looks like Persona will function something like a Steve's Pizza meets Subway. Instead of waiters serving tables, customers order their pizzas over the counter through an assembly line where they choose a sauce and type of cheese, then pick from over 30 toppings. The team then tosses it into an imported wood fired "Marra Forni" oven that is 300 degrees hotter than most eateries, according to a press release, and "ninety seconds later" it's yours for the eating.
Writes a press release:
All the pizzas come in one size – 12 inches – and are crafted from 00 flour and tomatoes imported from Naples, combined with locally sourced fresh vegetables, meats and cheeses. The meatballs, sausage and sauces, all made on-site, have won gold medal acclaim nationally and internationally.If you're not in the mood to whip up your own pizza combo, Persona also offers fixed-price signature pizzas.
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