LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — You can soon add one more pizza shop to the list in Lafayette. While the food may be great, the local story behind it is even better.
Azzip Pizza will open Sunday just a few miles down the road from where the business idea began. Owner Brad Niemeier is returning to his college town where he went from Purdue football player to pizza maker.
"I walked on [to the Purdue football team] in 2008," said Niemeier. "I think I was the biggest and most coordinated of the walk-ons that day."
But when the offensive lineman wasn't sticking to blocks, his mind was stuck on something else.
"I would read pizza blogs and test recipes out at my college house," said Niemeier. "I'd have pizza nights with my teammates on the football team."
Niemeier graduated with a degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management in 2012. He entered his Azzip Pizza idea into the Burton D. Morgan Business Model Competition at Purdue and won $20,000 to go toward starting a business. He turned the grand prize into six stores across Indiana and Kentucky. His seventh will open Sunday on the corner of South Street and Farabee Drive in Lafayette.
"We have all personal size pizzas — 8-inch and 11-inch pizzas," said Niemeier. "You can mix and match different sauces. You get one meat in every pizza and then unlimited sauces. You pick your toppings; we build it right in front of you, and then it cooks in 2.5 minutes.
"We are just trying to do one great story after another. We really are focused on having a great experience for our customers and treating our employees and our team right — and really becoming a part of the community."
If you haven't been able to tell by now, the name "Azzip" is pizza spelled backwards.
Azzip Pizza opens for business this Sunday. Every person who visits will receive a FREE PIZZA!