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Meet Dara Maleki of The Pizza Press in West Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dara Maleki.

Dara – we’d love to hear the story in your own words.

In 2012, the headlines read “Newsworthy Pizza Now In Anaheim.”

The goal was simple: to allow our guests to edit, proof, and publish their own pizza in record time. As “publishers” of their own pizza story, guests are able to create their very own pizza with unlimited toppings in an environment that harkens back to America’s rich newspaper tradition. It’s both nostalgic and fun for all ages to enjoy!

In addition to “Publish Your Own Pizza,” our professional chef made sure to create eight delicious pizzas inspired by newspapers from around the country, including “The Times,” “The Tribune,” and “The Chronicle.” He also made sure we were in tune with current market trends, such as the use of fresh and nutritious ingredients in a fast, build-your-own environment. The result is a unique and newsworthy spin on one of America’s most popular foods.

My own story started when I was a kid growing up in an entrepreneurial family in Orange County, California. After many years of learning the ins and outs of “resort retail” firsthand – from cashier to delivery boy – I launched my own import/export business.

I was working with clients from here to Australia, which really stretched my knowledge and vision for how far a small business can take you. The skills I acquired in both these spheres laid the groundwork for our first location in the Anaheim Resort Area.

Now, we’d like to take our fresh and fun “Publish Your Own Pizza” concept to other parts of the United States and the world. The Pizza Press franchise program is a natural outgrowth of our commitment to encouraging small business owners and fostering positive relationships with everyone we meet. Together with our franchisees, we will continue to build on the respected brand of The Pizza Press and bring newsworthy pizza to your hometown.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The Restaurant business is a fast paced and ever changing industry and is not without daily challenges. But I think that is what makes it such an adrenaline rush, and nothing drives that rush then delivering new location to established communities and looking to become a local favorite from orange county to LA creating unique experiences and bonding with the community is always a struggle as each community comes with its own cypher that needs to be unlocked. I think the largest challenges growing an independent brand is sticking to your core values as we scale our business. Being true to yourself and your culture and building a cult following which we look to do in every community without selling out is another inner battle I think many brands face.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
At The Pizza Press, every patron is a publisher and every pizza is a brand new edition. It’s this custom approach to “pizza storytelling” that makes our concept truly newsworthy. When hungry guests step into line at The Pizza Press, they are greeted by “newsboys” and a menu of pizzas named for regional newspapers such as “The Times,” “The Herald,” or “The Sun.” But our guests find it even more fun to publish their own pizzas, creating original editions from our generous list of sauces, meats, and veggies. Since every pizza is assembled right before our guests’ eyes, there are never any surprises: all of our thin-crust pizzas, no matter how many add-ons, are only $10*. And they’re “hot off the press” in four minutes!

Fun and fast are good, but fresh is even better. People come back to The Pizza Press to create more pizza editions because of the high-quality and locally sourced ingredients, Trademark thin crusts are the perfect way to feature our fresh-made sauces and tasty toppings; and our super-hot conveyor oven will bring out the natural flavors of these premium ingredients.

Guests are also tempted by a refrigerated display case chock-full of packaged salads, bottled beverages, and desserts like chocolate mousse and tiramisu. To top off guests’ meals, our staff can also happily make root beer floats with artisan ice cream or pour pints of hand-crafted local beer from our taps.

As a leader in the emerging market of build your own pizzas, our mission is simple to create an environment that ushers in a warm and welcoming location for all demographics and interests. We give our customer the ability to maximize their creative minds through designing a pizza in a way that suits their desires. Additionally, The Pizza Press takes great pride in reaching our communities through fundraisers and events that benefits the individuals in our area. I am most proud of our commitment to reaching our customers through having great environments, products, customer service, and community involvement that positions our company for long-term sustainable growth.

What were you like growing up?
As a child I was the son of an immigrant small business owner. I always took an interest to business and always wanted to know how business worked and my father always helped me explore my business interests. I thrived to be a part of social groups and wanted to make people happy. I enjoyed participating in conversations with adults and always was very opinionated and took interest in current news issues of the time and would love to discuss them with adults. Looking back I guess I was a pretty awkward kid but I think that is what makes all of us so unique and special. I was super inquisitive and always wanted to know why and how things worked. I was not always the best student as felt the teachers never really got to the point or were very redundant. As I got into college I realized that I would be better off starting a business and follow my passion.

Pricing:

  • Local Craft Beer $5-7
  • ‘Publish Your Own “Pizza $8.50
  • “Publish Your Own” Gluten Free Pizza $10.50

Contact Info:

  • Address: 7100 Santa Monica Blvd. unit 151
    West Hollywood, Ca 90046
  • Website: www.thepizzapress.com
  • Phone: 323-498-5287

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