Shopping Centers Today International

JAN 2016

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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J a n u a r y 2 0 1 6 / S C T 23 The Svensons themselves found eat- ing out as a family to be a tough proposi- tion, having four children of their own. "It was always challenging to find a place to feed our kids that made us happy in terms of the quality of the food, the value and the amount of time involved, and where we would be happy to eat as parents," said Scott Svenson. Before starting MOD, the Svensons helped launch two successful food con- cepts in the U.K., where they were liv- ing for a time: Seattle Coffee Company (which Starbucks acquired in 1998) and Italian-food concept Carluccio's. After returning to the U.S. and starting up their pizza concept, the Svensons spent the first few years refining the business model; in 2012 they began rolling out S M A n y p A r e n T S know, eating out with the children can be difficult. It may be hard to find restaurants that serve high-quality foods appealing to kids and adults alike, let alone to find one that does so quickly and affordably. That dilemma is in part what led Scott and Ally Svenson to establish MOD pizza in 2007 in downtown Seattle. MOD specializes in artisan- style pizzas that are "made on demand" — hence the acronym. shops at a brisk pace. As of last fall, MOD had upwards of 80 shops across the U.S., and the chain continues to grow rapidly. The company has raised some $75 mil- lion in equity to fund expansion and expects to be operating about 200 stores by the end of this year. Management in- tends to open about 100 stores yearly for the foreseeable future. MOD seems intent on doing for pizza what Chipotle has done for Mexi- can food and Starbucks has done for coffee: elevate a popular eatery concept to high standards of quality and careful customization for the consumer. In fact, Scott Svenson (he is the one speaking throughout this article) is a former Star- bucks executive, having joined the coffee giant after its acquisition of Seattle Cof- fee, which marked Starbucks' foray into the european market. He was initially A posher pie when it comes to pizza, moD says there's huge room for improvement By Anna Robaton r e T A i l i n g T o d A y

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