MOD Pizza starts baking in Redmond
By SAMANTHA PAK
Redmond Reporter Reporter
September 13, 2012 · 3:35 PM
Before last week, anyone in Redmond in the mood for artisan pizza would probably have to go to a sit-down restaurant to feed their cravings.
But now with the opening of MOD Pizza at 8900 161st Ave. N.E., Suite 165, in Redmond’s Bella Bottega shopping center on Monday, residents, workers and visitors can get their artisan-style pies in a matter of minutes.
The restaurant, which was started in Seattle by Bellevue residents Scott and Ally Svenson, specializes in individual artisan-style pizzas that are prepared and cooked in 800-degree display ovens within two to three minutes. All pizzas cost $6.88 regardless the number of toppings.
Ally said in forming MOD in 2007 and 2008, they asked themselves how little they could charge their customers and still be a viable business — an unusual concept in a time when restaurants charge extra for everything from sauces to to-go boxes.
MOD also offers a selection of salads along with draft beer, wine, pizza knots, milkshakes and old-fashioned Ding Dongs.
“In ‘Happy Days,’ if there was a pizza joint, I’d want it to be MOD,” Ally said. “It’s a little rebellious, but innocent enough and simple.”
There are seven other MOD locations, including downtown Seattle, the University District, the Seattle Center, Capitol Hill, Lynnwood, Bellevue and the new Sammamish store, which also had a grand opening Monday.
Ally said with eight locations, MOD may seem like a chain, but she said they’re not as each individual restaurant has its own personality.
“They’re not cookie cutter,” she said.
In addition, workers at each location are from the community.
From left: MOD Pizza co-founder Ally Svenson, Redmond MOD general manager Todd Griffiths, MOD regional manager Heidi Durfee and MOD director of operations Chris Schultz
Chris Schultz, director of operations for MOD, said they have hired 25 local employees ranging from Redmond High School (RHS) students in their first job to people who had been laid off from previous jobs and are receiving a second chance. Schultz said they embrace the diversity of workers and see it as a reflection of the city.
At the head of Redmond’s MOD store is general manager Todd Griffiths, who came to the company from a background in fine dining and made the switch to casual dining because he wanted something more fast paced.
“I love this so much better,” he said. “I like the casualness.”
Griffiths said he also enjoys the people he works with, saying he has “a great team.”
MOD employee and recent RHS graduate Dorian Juge agreed.
“We are crazy awesome,” he said.
Kevin Endejan contributed to this article.
Contact Redmond Reporter Reporter Samantha Pak at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-867-0353, ext. 5052.