Hip To be Square
Austin's beloved Via 313 squares up for major national expansion
Nine years ago, Via 313 began serving square pizza out of its east side food truck and almost instantly became a citywide favorite. In the years since, the company has grown to include more trucks and three brick-and-mortars, all while continuing its reputation for serving quality pies with innovative flavor concepts.
Now it appears this Austin favorite poised for world domination. Well, at least when it comes to pizza.
Via 313 founders (and brothers) Brandon and Zane Hunt have inked a deal with Savory, the food and beverage arm of Mercato Partners, a Utah-based investment firm. With that investment, Savory and Via 313 will grow the pizza purveyor into new markets. As part of its role, Savory also advises on real estate, construction, and talent acquisition, among other things.
"The management team at Savory has a deep understanding of our industry and a clear plan for where we need to go next," said Brandon Hunt in an October 13 release. "Taking these next steps together will allow Zane and me to focus on improving our passion for the best Detroit-style pizza and finding the most interesting and exciting flavors from across the country."
Though it's become standard fare in Austin, Detroit-style pizza is having a cultural moment across the nation, with square-panned pies popping up everywhere from Dallas to Washington, D.C.
"When I met Brandon and Zane Hunt, who introduced me to Via 313, my eyes were opened to the amazing and creative Detroit-style pizza heritage," said Andrew K. Smith, managing director of Savory. "I knew I had to work with the Hunts and expand their dream to more cities across America. By combining all of our collective experience, we have an opportunity to lead out on this segment of Detroit-style pizza."
Overall, Savory's financing amounts to $100 million, according to an October 13 release, though exactly how much of that will go to Via 313 remains undisclosed. Along with Via 313, Savory also recently announced it is investing in Crack Shack, a Southern California-based fried chicken concept.
And so, it appears the rest of the country will learn what Austin has known all along: It's hip to eat square.