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Pizza in 90 Seconds? South Sider Plans To Open Persona Pizzeria in Chicago

 Persona's Chipotle Chicken pizza is one of the specialty pizzas.
Persona's Chipotle Chicken pizza is one of the specialty pizzas.
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Persona Pizza

KENWOOD — If you hate waiting more than a few minutes for a fresh pizza, a Kenwood entrepreneur hopes his new franchise will work for you.

Greg Dunn plans to open a Persona Wood Fired Pizzeria Downtown this summer. The California chain offers personal pizzas baked in 90 seconds, which Dunn believes will be really popular here.

“I see this as a huge lunch-time concept,” he said. “You don’t have to sacrifice quality for speed. You can run across the street and literally five minutes from the time you walk into the door, you can be walking back out with a piping hot, freshly made pizza.”

Customers will get to choose from their 30-plus toppings, including hard-to-find items like sopressata and peppadews. There are also specialty pizzas like Chipotle chicken and margherita.

[Kenwood resident Greg Dunn is bringing the first Persona Wood Fired Pizzeria franchise to Chicago summer 2016. [Photo courtesy of Greg Dunn]

Dunn, a marketing communications executive, said he’s always been interested in the food industry. He started doing research last year on different concepts and businesses. After sampling Persona’s chipotle chicken pizza sauce, he was sold.

“I really loved the menu and when I actually tasted the food, that’s really what sealed the deal,” he said.

Dunn is looking to open his first location by mid-summer. He’s also considering opening two more, one on the North Side and one on the South Side.

“I think it’s going to be well received,” he said. “Chicago is a sophisticated pizza town. It’s the pizza capital of America."

Persona is currently in Santa Barbara and Santa Rosa, Calif., as well as in Columbia, S.C. The company has more than a dozen more restaurants in development in Dallas, Houston and South Carolina.

“Persona Wood Fired Pizzeria is succeeding in cities and towns across the U.S. because it appeals to traditional pizza lovers, but gives them a whole new experience,” said co-founder Joseph Baumel in a news release.

“We’re pleased to now be working with our newest franchisee, Greg Dunn, who has worked with the world’s leading quick-service restaurant, among other great food brands, to bring our first Persona Wood Fired Pizzeria location in the Midwest to Chicago, a city renowned for great pizza.”

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