RED BANK: FLOWERS & PHONES IN, PIZZA OUT

abby lawal supreme floral 091919Abby Lawal outside Supreme Floral, which she opened with her husband in August. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallDowntown Red Bank has added a new flower shop and lost a longtime restaurant, while another plans to expand.

Read all about them, plus a phone store that’s cloning itself, in this summer-closing edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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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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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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