The Married Couple who Sold their Company to Starbucks for $90 million and Developed the $1.31 Million Pizza Empire

For the married cofounder of MOD Pizza, a chain of handmade pizzerias across the United States, the business model was built on adventures. Scott Svenson, who founded the company with his wife Ally, said gambling has been successful in many ways.

“Either have a financial return or you will have more loyal employees or more loyal customers,” Scott said. Fortunately, this is good for them. Inc.5000 (No. 327) opened its 302 stores in December and currently has stores in 27 U.S. states, with revenues of $ 131 million in 2016.

Adventure is their DNA.
Svensons is no stranger to business. Scott was an investment banker and Elly worked in the publishing industry before starting Seattle Coffee in London in 1995. When Scott sent out a notice that he was leaving to set up a coffee shop, his boss asked him if he had lost his mind.

“He manages board intervention because he thinks I’ve been working hard and cracking,” Scott recalls. “People think we’re crazy because of the pressure that we can not fail.”

Three years after Seattle Coffee was opened, the couple sold it to Starbucks for about $ 90 million. That same year, they co-produced Carluccio’s with Antonio and Priscilla Carluccio. The first deli cafe opened in 1999, with Scott and Ally serving on the company’s board of directors. Since then, Carluccio has established more than 100 locations in the UK, Turkey and the United States.

A pizza market.
Scott and Alice moved back to Seattle, taking a break from the restaurant business, focusing on the four boys who raised them. A few years later, a business connection shows they look at the pizza industry. They found it lacking in innovation; while new technologies are changing the delivery process, local pizzerias continue to appear, but they do not see fast casual options in space.

Scott said clients outside of New York City (slice prices as low as $ 1) could choose to have pizza delivered to home or for an hour in a private dining room. But a place Svensons’ imagines will bring fast food and leisure to the fast food industry. The model will allow customers to add an unlimited amount of ingredients to the 11-inch thin pizza at the same price.

Opposition opponents.
Scott and Aly opened their first store in November 2008 – about a year after the recession. They were told to start a business really bad time, they should wait for the dust settles, but they move on. They have more than just a pizza chain; they want social impact.

“Of course, building a successful business is satisfying,” Scott said. “But the happiest thing for us is the time we can have a positive impact on someone’s life.”

Cost-effective to create more lasting results.
MOD offers free food, beverage, and leadership and life skills guidance to employees. Ally and Scott also aim to provide employees with living salaries, benefits, and opportunities they would not normally find anywhere else. For example, MOD employs repeat offenders, those with learning disabilities, and those who have recently been released from drug or alcohol rehabilitation.

But these efforts are not cheap. Combined with training and higher salaries, Scott and Airy did not have the courage to include these benefits when they started their first two businesses. Now, they want to show others that this is possible. “If we give them a chance and treat them well, we can make them feel confident and empowered,” Scott said.

MOD has seen tremendous growth. The company grew from 192 stores to 302 stores between 2016 and 2017 with sales of $ 150 million in 2016.

“Companies now have to think not only about their shareholders but also the health of their community,” Scott said. “If we all wait for the government to solve the problems we encounter today, then we will wait a long time.”

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