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Florida Entrepreneur/Philanthropist Doubles Down On Pie Five Pizza Investment

Stocks in this article: PZZI

THE COLONY, Texas, June 26, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- One of Florida's most successful entrepreneurs is expanding his new pizza franchise footprint before the first location has even been completed.

Pie Five Pizza Co., a subsidiary of Pizza Inn Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:PZZI), has awarded an additional 15 franchise units to L. Gale Lemerand, bringing the total agreement to 25 restaurants in the state of Florida. The initial 10-unit agreement was announced in late-March.

Lemerand is moving quickly to introduce the trend-setting fast-casual pizza concept to the state, and has hired former Carrabbas executive John Tintsman as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer to support the expansion. The franchisee's first unit is projected to open in late 2013. The expanded agreement now covers the Orlando, Gainesville, Melbourne, Daytona Beach, St. Augustine and Jacksonville markets.

"I believe Florida is an ideal market for the Pie Five brand, which is why I've doubled-down on my investment," said Lemerand, the sole owner or partner in 29 successful restaurants across Florida. "Not only is the food quality, consistency and preparation time outstanding, but the company has an impressive infrastructure, world-class leadership, deep institutional knowledge and a top-notch operating model that will help us prosper."

Pie Five has been named a 2013 Top 50 Restaurant Brand of the Year, a 2012 Hot Concepts winner by Nation's Restaurant News and one of "10 Hot New Restaurant Chains from Established Brands" by Forbes.com.

"We simply couldn't have asked for a better franchise partner in Florida than Gale," said Madison Jobe, chief development officer for Pie Five. "Gale's success speaks for itself, and we are thrilled that he thinks so highly of the Pie Five concept that he's already decided to more than double his planned footprint in the state."

Lemerand's current dining network includes 17 Stonewood Grill & Tavern restaurants, five Peach Valley Café locations, four Houligan's sports bars, as well as Perkins Family Restaurant and Bakery, Ormond Wine Company and a tapas restaurant called The Dish.

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