Blackjack Pizza

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Blackjack Pizza Franchising
Industry Restaurants
Founded June 29, 1983; 33 years ago (1983-06-29)
Headquarters Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, U.S.
Key people
Vince Schmuhl, Founder & President
Products Pizza
Number of employees
800 (estimated)
Website www.blackjackpizza.com

Blackjack Pizza is a Colorado-based pizza delivery chain founded in 1983 by a former Domino's Pizza employee, Vince Schmuhl, because Domino's Pizza was the only major pizza delivery company in the Rocky Mountain region[1] and he thought customers would appreciate an alternative. The pizza chain is the largest in Colorado with 800 employees, some of whom work part-time.[2] On January 1, 2013, Blackjack Pizza was acquired by Askar Brands.

History[edit]

The first Blackjack Pizza store opened June 29, 1983 in Federal Heights with a second store opening in Greeley by February 1984.[1] By 1986, Blackjack grew to six corporate stores and one franchisee.[3]

In 1988, Blackjack became a franchisor with the sale of several corporate stores to franchisees. Today, Blackjack Pizza operates 45 stores in five states.[4] Blackjack's tagline is "Better Pizza, Better Price."[5]

Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the high school seniors who committed the 1999 Columbine High School massacre worked part-time for $5.15 an hour at the Blackjack Pizza store in Littleton, Colorado, and Harris eventually became shift manager.[6] At this pizza parlor, the two teens made important acquaintances who were inadvertently connected to the attack at Columbine High School.[7] The two teens were able to meet Mark Manes, the man who sold them the TEC-9 that they used in the attack, through the connection of Philip Duran, a fellow employee at the Blackjack Pizza store where they worked.[8][9][10]

Denver Broncos wide receiver Rod Smith appeared frequently in Blackjack commercials until October 2008 when Blackjack rolled out a new ad campaign featuring the cast of Impulse Theater.[11] Smith's slogan for Blackjack Pizza ads was "Stick with the home team."[12][13]

Philanthropy[edit]

Blackjack Pizza donated money to a number of organizations. In 2005, Blackjack donated $8,842.40 to the Bonfils Blood Center Foundation, which was selected by Blackjack Pizza to be the winner of the "80 Cent Pizza Promotion".[4][14] The pizzeria also sponsored a Future Farmers of America program in Fort Morgan, Colorado.[15] In 2006, the franchise offered a deal to customers that every time they ordered the "Children's Hospital Special", the franchise would give a dollar to the Children's Hospital in Aurora, Colorado.[16]

Acquisitions[edit]

On January 1, 2013, Blackjack Pizza was acquired by Askar Brands, a Michigan-based company.[17]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Blackjack Pizza Franchise Information". The Franchise Mall. Archived from the original on 2008-10-25. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  2. ^ Bronikoski, Lynn (1996-01-28). "Black Jack Pizza Gears up for Game". Rocky Mountain News. Archived from the original on 2008-10-25. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  3. ^ "Company History". Blackjack Pizza Franchising. Archived from the original on 2008-10-25. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  4. ^ a b Scott, Julie (2006-01-30). "Blackjack Pizza Customers Raise Dough for Bonfils Blood Center". Bonfils Blood Center. Archived from the original on 2008-10-25. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  5. ^ "Blackjack Pizza Franchising Inc.". Gaebler Ventures. Archived from the original on 2007-10-19. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  6. ^ Bartels, Lynn; Crowder, Carla (1999). "Fatal Friendship". Rocky Mountain News. Archived from the original on 2008-10-25. Retrieved 2008-10-25. Eric and Dylan started at Blackjack in the spring of their sophomore year, cooking pizzas for $5.15 an hour. 
  7. ^ Lowe, Peggy (2000-11-22). "Pizza Jobs Gave Connections Killers Made Contacts Who Helped Them with Guns, Explosives They Used in School Attack". Rocky Mountain News. Archived from the original on 2008-10-25. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  8. ^ Abbott, Karen (2001-01-24). "Columbine defendants deny responsibility". Rocky Mountain News. Archived from the original on 2008-10-25. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  9. ^ "Colleague of Columbine shooters arrested". CNN. 1999-06-18. Archived from the original on 2008-10-25. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  10. ^ Pitzel, Heather (2004-04-19). "Manes: 'I made a bad mistake'". Rocky Mountain News. Archived from the original on 2008-10-25. Retrieved 2008-10-25. Duran, meanwhile, was working with Klebold and Harris at a Blackjack Pizza shop. He introduced them to Manes at a gun show in Denver because they wanted to buy his TEC-DC9. 
  11. ^ Cotton, Anthony (2007-09-30). "The game of commercial appeal". The Denver Post. Archived from the original on 2008-10-25. Retrieved 2008-10-25. For most of his 13 years in town, Smith said he wasn't very interested in doing commercials, feeling they might be a distraction from his main task - playing football. He recently relented, though, doing some spots for Blackjack Pizza. 
  12. ^ Thorburn, Ryan (2006-08-15). "Tatum still trails Mike Bell at RB". Daily Camera. Archived from the original on 2008-10-25. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  13. ^ Brown, Irv; Williams, Joe (2008). The Great Book of Denver Sports Lists. Running Press. p. 91. ISBN 0-7624-3355-8. 
  14. ^ "On the Move: Noteworthy". Rocky Mountain News. 2006-03-28. Archived from the original on 2008-10-25. Retrieved 2008-10-25. Blackjack Pizza presented Bonfils Blood Center Foundation with a check for $8,842.40. Bonfils was selected by Blackjack Pizza franchisees as the beneficiary of the locally based 80 Cent Pizza Promotion in 2005. 
  15. ^ Chaney, Jesse (2008-10-01). "FFA project helps local seniors". Fort Morgan Times. Archived from the original on 2008-10-25. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  16. ^ "Colorado business". The Denver Post. 2006-11-01. Archived from the original on 2008-10-25. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  17. ^ "Askar Brands: Blackjack Pizza". Askar Brands. 2013. Archived from the original on 2014-11-11. Retrieved 2014-11-11. 

External links[edit]