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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Celebrating 30 years in the convenience channel is no slice of pizza pie.
The Hot Stuff Pizza brand from Orion Food Systems LLC is commemorating the 30th anniversary of its first licensed location, which opened in Webster, S.D., on Dec. 17, 1986.
The company established the Hot Stuff Pizza brand after acknowledging that rural South Dakota towns were too small for quick-service restaurants and had limited dining out options. It also recognized consumers' desire for fresh pizza.
"With convenience stores in nearly every town, this new brand found a way to bring hot, fresh pizza to towns that had populations of 5,000 or less. In fact, Hot Stuff Pizza was the first company to make fresh pizza in convenience stores in the U.S.," the company stated.
With roots in Sioux Falls, Orion manufactured its pizza dough, which featured grains farmed in the heart of South Dakota. Decades later, the recipe has been tweaked to include locally sourced ingredients to make the sauce and 100-percent real cheese blend topping.
"Thanks to experience and retention, over a quarter of our current Hot Stuff Pizza locations have been with us for more than 20 years," said Orion Food Systems CEO Steve Watkins. "We're extremely proud of the legacy Hot Stuff Pizza has established. It's one of our most famous brands and continues to grow."
Today, Hot Stuff Pizza has 1,000-plus locations in rural and metro areas, serving pizza and other items across all dayparts.
Orion Food Systems brands also include Paavo's Pizza, Papa Primo's Italian Kitchen, Smash Hit Subs, Eddie Pepper's Mexican Grille, V.I.Pete's Grille, Game Time Sports Grill, CHOPZ and private-label brands.