Rapid Fired Pizza is opening inside the Austin Landing Kroger. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Area Kroger adds Rapid Fired Pizza to food court

Rapid Fired Pizza will open its first and only Dayton-area Kroger-based store later this year.

The Kroger at Austin Landing in Miami Twp. will open its Rapid Fired Pizza restaurant around the end of September, said Kelly Gray, co-founder of Rapid Fired Pizza. The popular and growing chain will open a total 10 stores inside Kroger delis during its initial trial phase, but all aside from the Austin Landing location, all will be in the Cincinnati market.

“Based on our existing coverage in the market, we don’t have a lot of gaps in the coverage (in Dayton), but Austin Landing was one of them,” Gray said. “Most of the rest of our Rapid Fireds…inside Kroger’s are going to be in the Cincinnati market, and then possibly expanding into the Kentucky markets and into Columbus.”

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Rapid Fired previously tried to secure a location at Austin Landing, Gray said, but they hadn’t been able to work anything out with the shopping center. The deli renovation will cost about $110,000, according to Montgomery County records.

“We love the daytime population of Austin Landing and of course it’s an extremely busy Kroger for residential shopping,” she said.

The chain that can cook pizzas in 180 seconds was already working on a take-and-bake form of the pizza before, but the Kroger partnership sped up the development. The buy and bake at home Rapid Fired pizzas are soon to hit shelves of traditional Kroger stores without Rapid Fired locations in an upcoming pilot, Gray said.

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Partnering with Kroger will give Rapid Fired a chance to expand it’s footprint, Gray said. The only difference between a typical stand-alone Rapid Fired store and those in a Kroger is that the Kroger version won’t sell salads.

“We are always looking to help customers find new, simple answers to the questions ‘What’s for dinner?’,” said Erin Rolfes, spokeswoman for Kroger’s Cincinnati-Dayton Division. Mt. Orab was the first to open. Kroger-based Rapid Fired locations also opened in Corryville last week and will open in Oakley later this month. The Austin Landing location will open at the end of September.

Rapid Fired also recently signed a lease for 3,300 square-feet of space at 1200 Brown St., planning to open by the end of September as well, Gray said.

“We have been looking for a location on Brown Street since we opened our first Rapid Fired in 2015 and the opportunity finally came up so we jumped on it,” Gray said.

The location will have a self pour alcohol system and will employ 20 to 30 people. Renovations will cost about $100,000.

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