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New Speed Pizza Chain Plans Five Houston Outposts

The quickly expanding Persona Wood-Fired Pizza aligns with the Jimmy John's team.

Persona fires up pizzas in a 800 degree imported wood-burning oven.
Persona fires up pizzas in a 800 degree imported wood-burning oven.

Persona Wood Fired Pizzeria, a fast-casual chain devoted to Chipotle-style, build-your-own pizza options, has signed a franchise agreement with Spicy Ketchup, the LLC that 'has experience with' two local outposts of sandwich shop Jimmy John’s. Persona was founded in 2013 in Santa Barbara, California, and has roughly thirty locations in-the-works nationwide. One of those will open in Houston by the end of the year with four more local spots to follow. Locations are TBD, but smart money is on areas like the Energy Corridor, with its wealth of millennial-age types seeking quick, high-quality options.

Persona’s 12 inch pizzas are Neapolitan in style. Customers choose from over 30 toppings before custom creations are baked in an imported wood-fired oven at 800 degrees for 90 seconds. Cybulski says diners can go from ordering to receiving their pie in about four minutes. There are also fixed-price specialty pizzas to choose from, based on Cybulski’s award-winning recipes. All the pizzas are crafted from double zero flour and Italian tomatoes, combined with locally sourced fresh vegetables, meats and cheeses. "We’ve got gluten-free options, and half a dozen different sauces all made in house," adds Cybulski. "Our ingredients make an artisan product that we think is going to take pizza in Houston to a whole other level."