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Antioch Pizza Shop is looking to expand into Northwest Indiana.

The Antioch, Ill., Based pizzeria, based in Lake County off the Wisconsin state border, opened three new restaurants in Illinois and Wisconsin this year at a time when 17% of restaurants are said to have closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Antioch Pizza aims to expand to 30 restaurants by 2026 and has identified the Hammond as a major target for expansion “due to its attractive and stable real estate market and growing business communities.”

A neighborhood pizzeria for over four decades, Antioch Pizza Shop is now looking to grow through the franchise. It has seven locations with three more in development as it plans to expand into select Midwest and Southern markets.

“We pride ourselves on providing high quality food and creating meaningful experiences for every customer. These are some of the key things that set us apart from other concepts, ”said Art Wicklein, co-owner of Antioch Pizza Shop. “We’ve seen how our dedication to the local communities we serve has spawned success, and we believe it’s time the people of Hammond found out what makes Antioch Pizza so special.”

The pizzeria was founded in 1977 with a recipe shared by friends. It was bought by Antioch native Art and Karen Wicklein, who are married, in 2008. They hope to develop it in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, in Tennessee and Wisconsin.

“We wanted to launch a recession-proof concept. Our business has stood the test of time and more, ”said co-owner Karen Wicklein. “Today our team is looking to grow with like-minded franchise owners who share our passion for community and our mission of phenomenal customer service.”

The pizzeria – whose slogan is “it’s not just pizza, it’s passion” – specializes in Chicago favorites like tavern cut pizzas, Italian beef sandwiches and hot drinks. dogs. It also offered innovative menu items like a two-tier pizza stuffed with fresh mozzarella and other toppings.

The menu also includes sandwiches, pasta, wings, salads and ice cream.

Antioch Pizza Shop is seeking franchisees to open one or more stores in Northwest Indiana. They must invest between $ 135,000 and $ 495,500 and have a minimum equity value of $ 250,000.

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