California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) today announced it has broken ground in Edmonton, the capital city of the Canadian province of Alberta. The new opening will bring CPK’s signature California-style pizzas, pastas, salads and more to the country for the first time and signals the company’s commitment to increased international expansion through franchise partnerships. Alongside longtime Alberta restaurateur, Samira Shariff, CPK will serve its diverse and creative menu dishes to all lunch and dinner guests in the Edmonton community.
Located within the Currents of Windermere shopping center, the new Edmonton location is the first of many CPK locations planned in the province over the next eight years. Once up and running, the 4,500 square foot indoor space and 1,800 square foot enclosed, heated patio is expected to seat 225 people and will offer all of CPK’s classic menu items including the Original BBQ Chicken Pizza, The California Club Pizza, The Thai Crunch Salad, and a range of other “Cali Health” infused offerings reflecting the latest in California infused culinary innovation.
“Expanding our franchise operations now beyond the U.S. is a top priority for CPK and affirms our broader strategy for long term growth in our international markets,” says Giorgio Minardi, Executive Vice President of Global Development & Franchise Operations at CPK. “Since announcing the partnership in 2020, our excitement continues to grow for the Alberta market and we have every confidence in Naheed and Samira to deliver an excellent guest experience beginning with Edmonton. While Alberta will be the first province to see the CPK brand open a restaurant, we look forward to selecting the right franchisees to bring our ‘California Creativity’ to other provinces in Canada.”
As the CEO of CPK’s Alberta location, Naheed Shariff brings more than 25 years of experience in the restaurant franchising industry coupled with the 40 years of experience his mother and partner, Samira Shariff, brings. Together, Naheed and Samira have helped successful brands grow in the Alberta region and are excited to bring California Pizza Kitchen into Edmonton.
“In anticipation of the opening next year, we’re extremely excited to take the first step in bringing California Pizza Kitchen’s first franchise in Canada to life,” says Naheed Shariff, CEO of CPK’s Alberta footprint. “Beyond welcoming new guests, we’re eager to partner with this iconic global brand to help support the local economy by creating more than 100 stable jobs for those in the food and beverage industry.”
California Pizza Kitchen also has plans to open restaurants in additional markets throughout the country, including Vancouver, British Columbia and Toronto, Ontario.
CPK’s global presence includes more than 200 locations in 8 countries and U.S. territories, which includes 40 international franchise locations in addition to 16 domestic franchise locations in airports, casinos and stadiums across the United States. This announcement is the second franchise expansion CPK has made this year, with the first being in Hong Kong in partnership with Chun Fat Enterprise Limited. CPK continues to drive franchise growth across the globe with plans for locations in new markets through 2023.