MOUNT PLEASANT — What sets apart Blaze Pizza, the area’s newest pizza restaurant, is the opportunity to concoct your own customized creation from 40 different ingredient options.
Blaze Pizza, 5423 Washington Ave., at the far northwest corner of Racine Centre shopping center, opens Thursday, Sept. 14.
Pasadena, Calif.-based Blaze Pizza was started in 2012, said local owner-operator John Kovacs. This restaurant is the company’s 214th and third in Wisconsin.
Blaze prides itself on speed, Kovacs said, making a personal pizza from the start of ordering to finished product in eight to 10 minutes. The 550-degree oven can bake as many as 18 pizzas at once, General Manager Bill Buchner said.
Blaze Pizza offers 11-inch, thin-crust personal pizzas for $8.25. About 65 percent of customers choose the build-your-own option, Kovacs said, and about 35 percent select one of eight “signature” pizza recipes.
“We’re the Subway of pizzas,” Kovacs remarked about the build-your-own feature. Customers choose from one of four sauces, for example: classic red, garlic pesto, white cream and spicy red. Buchner said the spicy red, made with cayenne and jalapeño peppers, is about a six on a one-to-10 scale for heat.
There are eight types of cheese, including a vegan cheese, and five different meats.
A build-your-own pizza costs the same as the signature pizzas and can include as many toppings as the customer wants, Buchner said, although he added a pizza with all 40 toppings might not bake evenly.
The signature pizzas include the BBQ Chicken, which includes gorgonzola and banana peppers; Art Lover, with artichokes, mozzarella, ricotta and red sauce dollops; and Meat Eater, with pepperoni, meatballs and red onion.
The most-basic choices at Blaze are the Simple Pie, with just mozzarella, parmesan and red sauce, for $5.45; and 1 Top Pizza, which is the Simple Pie with one topping, for $6.65.
Blaze has four kinds of salad — and also the Salad Pizza which is exactly what it sounds like: One of the other four salad selections placed atop a just-baked pizza spread with garlic pesto, for $8.95.
Blaze offers beer and also will sell wine, starting in about one month after the Village of Mount Pleasant adopts a Class C license ordinance. The beers include two tap selections: Blue Moon and River West Stein, from Milwaukee’s Lakefront Brewery.
The 2,400-square-foot restaurant seats 65 people inside and 35 on the patio, Kovacs said. It currently employs 48 people, Buchner said, and can have as many as 15 employees behind the counter at once.
Besides offering gluten-free and vegan options, Blaze declares its environmental ethic with cups and silverware made from corn and boxes and liners made from recycled paper.
Blaze will loudly announce its presence all day Friday by serving up free pizzas. Buchner said typically it will hand out 1,200 to 1,400 on a new restaurant’s free pizza day.
“Our goal is to make a splash in the market,” Kovacs said. “We’re not dipping a toe in.”
Blaze Pizza is open at 10:30 a.m. every day and until 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and till 9 p.m. Sunday. For more information call 262-672-6061.