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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? HEALTHY, EARTHY PIZZA

031516earthpizza2The vegan, one of the many selections on the menu at Earth Pizza, below. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

031615earthpizza1When Paul and Lisa Finkler opened a Pizza Fusion franchise in Red Bank in 2010, they may not have foreseen the niche their restaurant would fill. But the Broad Street restaurant was an immediate draw, and soon customers were asking for more gluten-free and vegan dishes.

Three years ago, tired of the parent company’s rules on menu changes, the Finklers bought out their contract, redubbed the restaurant Earth Pizza and did as asked.

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PIEHOLE: SALAD, COOKIES AND KEYTAR

sugarrush chris paseka (1)Chris Paseka of Sugarush talks to PieHole about appearing on Food Networks new show, ‘Rewrapped.’ (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels medium

redbankgreen’s PieHole is all about local food and drink. If you haven’t liked us on Facebook yet or followed us on Twitter, you may have missed some of these recent stories…

WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? SALAD FOR CYCLING

earth pizza saladThe chicken bruschetta salad at Red Bank’s Earth Pizza. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels medium

After a long, bacon-wrapped winter for PieHole, spring marks the beginning of bicycling season. But the combined weight of us and our bike seems to have increased since last summer. 

Rather than spend thousands of dollars on a super-light, space-age bicycle to make the hill climbs easier, we’ll stick with our trusty steel steed and simply eat a few salads instead. The strategy of course is to take the weight off our torso, and apply the money we’ll save on not buying a new bicycle to wine.

And so it was we ended up at the counter of Red Bank’s Earth Pizza chatting up the counter staff about the pizza restaurant’s salad lineup.

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RED BANK: GLUTEN-FREE EATERY GETS EARTHY

Paul Finkler is severing his ties with Pizza Fusion and rebranding his Broad Street restaurant Earth Pizza. (Click to enlarge)

By ROBERT KERN

You might call it a pizza “de-fusing.”

Just three years after opening a Pizza Fusion franchise in Red Bank, owner Paul Finkler is cutting the chains and rebranding his newly independent Broad Street restaurant as Earth Pizza.

Dissolving ties to a franchisor may seem daring, but Finkler looked at the restrictions imposed by the chain versus his desire to meet the needs of his customers, and said he knew what he had to do.

“Pizza Fusion is a franchise like McDonald’s is a franchise, and they don’t like people tinkering with the menu,” Finkler tells redbankgreen. “I wanted to give my customers what they were asking for, like more gluten-free and more vegan options. Being in a franchise, my hands were tied.”

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