What’s your favorite health food? Tofu? Carrot juice? Pizza?
The folks at Naked Pizza are on a mission to launch the world’s largest grassroots health movement. In October 2010 John & Shannon opened their first of a hopeful 15 area Naked Pizza franchise stores. This one’s located on Route 434 in Altamonte Springs, just north of Orlando. Their pizza is round, saucy, cheesy and comes in a square box. So what makes it healthy?
It’s naked: Meaning it’s made from all natural ingredients that taste better and are better for you. It’s not meant to be a diet food.
To begin with, the crust is made with 10 different grains plus prebiotic agave fiber and probiotics (healthful bacteria like those found in yogurt.) According to their literature, this diversity of grains, fiber and probiotics create a sustained release of energy without the crash you can experience from eating “other pizzas that are a big donut slathered with tomato sauce.”
The sauce is all natural, spiced and herbed with no added sugar or citric acid. The cheese is rGBH-free real Wisconsin mozzarella. The meats and veggies are all natural, no additives and free of growth hormones and antibiotics.
And naked means honest, immediate and transparent. It’s one reason they use social media so heavily. Their literature proclaims, “For too long fast food companies have talked about secret ingredients that we’ve come to find out are making people less healthy. We think that’s crummy so we use social media to help change it.”
Wow! With all this talk about the health benefits, I was skeptical. How would it taste?
No need to worry, the pizza was quite tasty; surprisingly so! In some ways, it was just like any other pizza you’ve ever had. In other ways, it really was possible to enjoy the flavorful crust, spiced & herbed sauce and real dairy cheese. With all these special ingredients, I wondered how much more expensive it would be. Again, to my delight, the price was similar to what one would pay at any other pizza chain.
In many ways, the pizza was a reflection of the store. The store had the same appearance as a regular pizza store–front counter with phones, large ovens, square pizza boxes stacked and ready to receive a fresh, hot pizza. In other ways, it was quite different–bright and minimalistic, large TV screens with information and advertisement, social media screens on the wall where you could sign up to be a fan of the store.
I spoke with John & Shannon, the owners of this franchise. While this is only the 4th Naked Pizza store in the US, there are over 500 stores under contract. This includes John & Shannon’s committment to opening 15 additional stores in the area.
They said they were attracted to this concept because they believe in the healthy, naked approach to the food industry espoused by the founders of Naked Pizza, one of whom they referred to as a nutritional anthropologist. Although it was clear from our conversation that they were nervous about the sales volume in the five months since the store opened, they expressed confidence that they would find their market.
Based on how the pizza tasted and how competitively priced it was, I think they might be right.
931 N. S.R. 434
Altamonte Springs, FL 32714
Open every day 10:30am to Midnight
Open until 1:00am on Friday and Saturday