MOD Pizza opens doors in Sammamish, store has several local ties
By KEVIN ENDEJAN
Issaquah Reporter Assistant editor
September 14, 2012 · Updated 10:36 AM
When MOD Pizza officially opened the doors to its eighth store Monday in Sammamish, it’s roots were already ingrained much deeper in the community than many know.
Company cofounder Ally Svenson revealed for the first time publicly that her top selling pizza, a classic cheese called the “Maddy,” was named after Maddy Callahan — an 8-year-old Sammamish girl who died Nov. 30, 2009 after a long battle with leukemia.
“Somebody very wise and close to me said that when there’s a tragic loss and you lose somebody really close to you, the one thing you fear is that other people will forget and you never will,” said Svenson, who is a childhood friend with Maddy’s mom, Susan.
Svenson said she never had reason to talk about the origin of the name before, but with the new store opening just minutes from the Callahan’s home in the Sammamish Highlands Shopping Center, it felt appropriate.
“A lot of people coming through here were Maddy’s teachers, Maddy’s classmates, Maddy’s family,” she said.
MOD’s local ties don’t end there. The new store hired 25 new employees, all of whom Director of Operations Chris Schultz said are from Sammamish.
“I’ve built stores all over the place but I’m finally able to build one in my own neighborhood,” said Schultz, who also lives on the Plateau.
Seattle-based MOD Pizza officially opened its new 2,200-square-foot business near the Sammamish Safeway.
The restaurant specializes individual artisan-style pizzas that are prepared and cooked in 800-degree display ovens within 2-3 minutes. All pizzas cost $6.88 regardless of toppings.
MOD also offers a selection of salads along with draft beer, wine, pizza knots, milkshakes and old fashioned Ding Dongs.
“In ‘Happy Days,’ if there was a pizza joint, I’d want it to be MOD,” Svenson said. “It’s a little rebellious, but innocent enough and simple.”
There are seven other MOD locations, including downtown Seattle, the University District, the Seattle Center, Capitol Hill, Lynnwood, Bellevue and the new Redmond store, which also had a grand opening Monday.
Sammamish Mayor Tom Odell, center, cuts the ribbon Monday, Sept. 10 at the new MOD Pizza.Contact Issaquah Reporter Assistant editor Kevin Endejan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-391-0363, ext. 5054.