Until this morning, I hadn’t heard of Stoner’s Pizza Joint, a small Charleston, South Carolina-based pizza chain with about 15 locations throughout the South. But now, having read about its growth strategy—which involves locations on college campuses and “states where recreational use of marijuana is legal”—I thoroughly on board with the Stoner’s Pizza marketing plan.
Nick Bergelt, co-owner of Stoner’s Pizza Joint—joint!—tells Nation’s Restaurant News the chain wants to play up its “unique name” by “focusing on cannabis loving diners.” (So, 60 percent of the people who order delivery pizza?) Bergelt says it’s also considering CBD-infused sauces and sodas, where legal. The delivery-focused stores see college students as a major market, obviously; only about a third of Stoner’s current locations are within a mile of campuses. But in the future, expanding to college towns will be a key focus.
Under new ownership by Bergelt’s company, HospitalityX, Stoner’s Pizza Joint hopes to open 100 new locations by 2023. The menu focuses on topping-loaded pizzas like Philly Cheese Steak, Buffalo Chicken, and Hawaiian, as well as wings and sides like Really Big Breadstick and Dogs in da Dough (sausages in dough). Its staff t-shirts read “#legalizemarinara” on the back. Polite claps, Stoner’s. Well done.