Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, the award-winning Brooklyn-style pizzeria, announced today the awarding of a domestic, multi-unit franchise development agreement for the state of Iowa with Doughtime Pizza Company, LLC. Together with Grimaldi’s, Doughtime will open five restaurants, with the first location opening in 2023. Offering coal-fired brick oven pizza, Grimaldi’s currently operates 41 company-owned restaurants throughout the United States, with an additional franchised pizzeria in Huntsville, AL that opened in 2022. 

“Through their experience owning and operating restaurants, as well as their knowledge of the Iowa markets, Doughtime Pizza Company is clearly the ideal partner to expand our franchise program to Iowa,” says Grimaldi’s Pizzeria CEO Joseph Ciolli. “The response since opening our first franchised location in Alabama has been overwhelmingly positive, and we look forward to continuing to grow our franchising program to introduce Grimaldi’s to communities across the country.”

Pizza lovers in Iowa will soon be able to enjoy Grimaldi’s coal-fired brick oven pizza and calzones–made with a secret recipe dough, fresh sliced mozzarella cheese, and techniques dating back more than 100 years in Brooklyn–along with salads, starters, desserts, a full bar program of handcrafted cocktails, premium and local craft beers, and a diverse wine list.

“Grimaldi’s dedication to excellent service, fresh ingredients and authentic coal-brick oven flavors seamlessly aligns with our portfolio of restaurants and offered a natural addition for our company,” says Tom Baldwin, Jr. of Doughtime Pizza Company. “Through our five planned franchise locations, we hope to bring the same family-friendly, casual yet upscale atmosphere and award-winning pizzas to communities across the state.”

To help lead domestic franchise expansion, Grimaldi’s is thrilled to welcome Howard Barish as Senior Director of Franchise Development and Project Management. Barish joins the Grimaldi’s team with over 30 years of experience as an owner, operator, multi-unit licensee, and commercial bakery president. For the majority of his career, Barish developed and operated the only franchise of New York City’s famous “Stage Deli.” Additionally, Barish had the opportunity to serve as Operating Partner, Managing Editor and General Manager for Gaming Today, as well as President of Operations and Development for JRI Hospitality. Before joining Grimaldi’s, he most recently served as the President of Operations and Development for Chompie’s Restaurants and Wholesale Bakeries.

“While I recently officially joined the team, my journey with Grimaldi’s started many years ago as a frequent visitor and fan of the Las Vegas locations,” says Howard Barish, Senior Director of Franchise Development and Project Management. “Since then, I have enjoyed watching Grimaldi’s evolve as a leader in the industry, and I look forward to helping introduce the concept to communities across the globe through this role.”

In 2023, Grimaldi’s plans to expand its international footprint with franchisee Tablez Food Company, which will open five Grimaldi’s restaurants in the United Arab Emirates. The first and second locations are planned to open in Dubai and Abu Dhabi later this year.

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