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Customization artisan pizza parlor MOD Pizza opens in Elkhart with successful start – South Bend Tribune

Since its Dec. 6 opening date, MOD Pizza in Elkhart has been busy, general manager Drae Haynes said.

“Every single day, we have had a line around these little corners, all the way leading up to the door,” Haynes said. “We have had great sales, every single day.”

What makes the pizza parlor so popular? It could be the customization options.

Structured similarly to Blaze Pizza in South Bend, the Seattle-based MOD (which stands for made on demand) features handmade, personalized pizzas and salads. Customers can choose from nine classic pizza options and can pick and choose among 30 different topping options to make the pizza as customizable as possible, at no additional cost.

It typically takes 10 minutes from the beginning of the assembly line to the end result of a fresh-baked pizza in hand, but customers can also order pizzas ahead of time on the go. Customers can also purchase craft beer and milkshakes as beverage options.

“So parents can have a little fun and the kids can get a little treat as well,” Haynes said. “We are definitely a family-friendly environment.”

But pizza isn’t the only reason the restaurant, located at 285 County Road 6 East, has become so popular. In fact, if you ask Hayne his thoughts behind the popularity, he’ll tell you it’s because of the people.

“It’s the pizza as well, but it’s our people because we are a people place,” he said. “If you look above, you’ll see our signature says ‘this is not a pizza place,’ and that pretty much explains that we are more than just pizza — we are our people and our people are us.”

Energetic employees welcome all customers who enter the restaurant with a resounding “Hello,” no matter how busy or quiet they may be. If the welcome is less than satisfactory, Haynes says they’ll do it again until it’s right.

“We are fun and exciting and as soon as you come through the door, you feel all of this energy,” he said.

Finding and maintaining such an energetic employee base has been easy so far, Haynes said, which is somewhat of a feat especially in Elkhart County where other employment with good pay and benefits are somewhat easy to find nowadays.

“Once people find out exactly who we are as a company, they are typically on board with it,” he said.

Just as the community has had an initial energetic reaction since MOD’s opening, Haynes hopes to get involved in the community as well. Fundraisers such as partnering with Elkhart Education Foundation on the store’s grand opening day have already occurred with hopes of more in the future.

“We want people to be full-bellied, fulfilled and happy (when the come here),” Haynes said. “We want them to be happy that they got the pizza they wanted, but also happy that they got to meet someone that was cool and fun and crazy just like them.”

The restaurant is open Sunday through Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Customers can call 574-696-4138 to order ahead.

South Bend Hardee’s open

After a long-time hiatus in Hardee’s locations in the area, a new restaurant officially opened last week.

The restaurant, located at 223 W. Ireland Road, is part of a expansion in our area by parent company CKE Restaurants Holdings. In 2017, CKE announced plans to build six Hardee’s locations across five different Indiana markets — South Bend, Mishawaka, LaPorte, Lafayette and Goshen.

Construction at the southside South Bend location next to United Federal Credit Union began Sept. 4.

The company is also planning to open another Hardee’s in the Michiana area, this one in Michigan City. Representatives from CKE said construction has not yet begun at the Franklin and Village streets location, but the company is hopeful the new restaurant also will open in early 2019.

Have you heard?

Saylor’s Pizza, located at 720 W. Sixth St. in Mishawaka, closed its doors Dec. 29. According to its social media accounts, the business was open for nearly 23 years and decided to “move on and grow in different ways individually.” … On Tuesday, two area Ziker Cleaners locations will begin providing pickup and delivery service. Lightning Laundry includes a wash, dry and fold for all of your everyday clothing. Customers can sign up for the service at 207 S. Dixie Way in South Bend or 7424 Gumwood Road in Granger. Those who sign up on Tuesday will receive 50 percent off their first load of laundry and will be entered to win free laundry service for a year. Ziker will roll out the service at other area stores throughout 2019. … Michigan-based SpartanNash closed its deal in purchasing local grocery chain Martin’s Super Markets last week. Officials from both companies said that the purchase likely won’t result in many changes. … Hydraulic Ale Works owners announced plans to open the new Elkhart brewery in spring or early summer 2019. The brewery will be located at 333 Nibco Parkway in Elkhart and will feature a family-friendly brewpub that can seat nearly 200.