• Fast-growing MOD Pizza is opening its newest location Friday in Downers Grove. Courtesy of MOD PizzaShow photos

Kim Mikus

Kim Mikus

  Updated7/24/2018 1:05 PM

Fast-growing MOD Pizza is opening its newest location Friday in Downers Grove.

A grand opening is set to take place at 11:50 a.m. that day at the eatery at 1022 W. Ogden Ave.

The doors open at noon and the first 52 people in line receive free individual artisan-style pizza or hand-tossed salad and collect MOD swag.

For grand opening day in Downers Grove, MOD will be donating 100 percent of pizza sales to The JED Foundation, a nonprofit focused on mental health awareness and suicide prevention for teens and young adults. MOD recently introduced the Isaac Pizza, named after a special customer who died by suicide. In response, MOD has partnered with JED to help spread the word about mental health resources available in their communities.

“As a purpose-led organization, our motivation to bring MOD to new communities is driven by our desire to make a positive impact in the communities we serve. We do this by offering well-paying jobs, career development opportunities, and partnering with nonprofits that support the community,” said Co-founder Ally Svenson. “We call it ‘Spreading MODness’ and we can’t wait to bring it to our newest location in Downers Grove.”

Seattle-based MOD Pizza stands for “made on demand.” Customers can choose their own toppings to go on an 11-inch pizza, all priced the same. The pizza is meant to be served speedily, within six to eight minutes of ordering.

The concept of the growing chain is fast casual. Patrons walk along a counter — similar to Chipotle — and choose precooked toppings, then watch the pizzas reheat in a 750-degree brick oven.

The entrepreneurial couple who founded MOD Pizza, Scott Svenson and Ally Svenson, have a successful track record. They went to the same high school in the Seattle area, where they first started dating, and were recently profiled in Forbes for their pizza model.

After receiving their educations on the East Coast, they moved to London for an 11-year stint. Missing Seattle-style lattes, they started the Seattle Coffee Company there. It saw explosive growth, eventually with 75 stores in four countries.

The Svensons sold the coffee company to Starbucks after the mega-chain expressed interest in the London market. Before moving back to Seattle, they also founded a successful Italian-style deli, Carluccio’s.

There are 18 MOD Pizza locations in Illinois, including Vernon Hills, Kildeer, Schaumburg, Naperville, Gurnee, Bolingbrook, Bloomingdale, Willowbrook and Waukegan. The eatery expects to open soon in Elgin, Mount Prospect and Algonquin.

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