Marco’s Pizza in Essex set for grand opening
- By Patrick Taylor -
On July 9, Marco’s Pizza, located at 149 Orville Road in the Waterview Town Center, will hold a grand opening celebration. And for pizza lovers in the area, there’s certainly reason for celebration.
For those who don’t know, Marco’s is a Toledo, Ohio-based pizza chain that is taking the nation by storm. The pizza chain currently has more than 800 stores nationwide, but the location in Essex is only the second Maryland location to open.
“We were looking for an opportunity, started doing some research and obviously we looked at all the usuals - Dominoes, Papa John’s, Little Caesars - and there just wasn’t any growth there,” said Chris Fries, who opened the Essex location with his wife Rabihah. We started seeing Marco’s name pop up in magazines like Forbes and Entrepreneur, named as the fastest growing pizza company and third-best franchise.”
For the Fries, it was practically a no-brainer. The couple both have backgrounds in the restaurant business - as well as a host of other endeavors - and they knew they wanted to open up a restaurant focused on pizza. After getting in touch with corporate and learning about the company, Chris and Rabihah traveled to Norristown, Penn., a suburb of Philadelphia, to see what they had to offer.
“We bought just about everything on the menu and we were blown away. It was the best pizza we had in probably forever,” said Chris. “And it was worth it.”
The couple said that they were impressed with the corporate culture and the product being sold. Dough is freshly made in-store each morning, the vegetables and meats are high quality, the sauce is the same recipe that has been used since the company opened in 1978.
“It’s quality all the way through,” said Chris.
I stopped by the new Marco’s location last week to try out their pizza, and it certainly is worth the hype. The chicken fresco pie was served up with delicious, white-meat chicken, a nice helping of fresh, thinly sliced tomato, onions and a pile of crushed bacon. I can honestly say I haven’t had pizza that good in a long time.
With only one other Marco’s location in Maryland, Chris and Rabihah see plenty of opportunity to grow. Already they’re looking to the future, saying they’d like at least five locations in Baltimore County. They cited Dundalk, Perry Hall and Parkville, among other locations, as potential landing spots. But before they do that, they know they need to focus on getting the first store up and running.
“We’re all still learning,” said Chris. “I’m still learning, employees are still learning. We want to provide the best customer experience we can, providing a great product in a short amount of time. We want the customers to know they’re what’s most important.”
The Fries are extending an invitation to any who can make it to their grand opening celebration on July 9 from 1 - 4 p.m. There will be a bounce house for the kids, games and prizes - including free large pizzas for a year.