There are no direct flights from Italy to Arizona but you can connect via Denver, Colorado.
Mici Handcrafted Italian restaurants will begin a 30-unit expansion across the Valley starting with one located at 24750 South Ellsworth Road in Queen Creek this August.
The Colorado-based family brand has built seven locations in 17 years in that state and plans to open three more in the Grand Canyon State in the next year-and-a-half.
For franchisee Lucas Farnham, who has more than 20 years in the restaurant industry, it’s the best option to expand a new brand.
“I just think Queen Creek is an absolute home run for our brand,” he said. “The Valley is just an awesome restaurant market.”
He said while most chain pizza brand use the terms “better ingredients, better pizza,” Mici’s delivers on this.
The brand offers traditional dine-in service with options for carry-out and delivery of its family recipe dishes.
Lucas said Mici makes pizza sauce from scratch with healthier ingredients such as hormone-free cheese and nitrate-free pepperoni.
With such a small family-brand operation, he said, they can deliver on the promise of making terrific pizza.
“It is a chain but it’s hard to call it a chain when you have two handfuls of locations,” he said.
The restaurant will also offer other dishes, including salads, pasta and locally sourced gelato.
In the age of mega chains where most of the time “pizza sounds like pizza,” he said Mici offers a “better pizza at a reasonable price.”
“I think the people of Queen Creek deserve better pizza than what’s largely available from the mega chains,” he said.
This process hasn’t stood without its troubles, he said, because they’ve faced the same uphill battles as other restaurants in the post-pandemic age with various supply chain issues.
But he said it’s a part of the new normal. “You just got to expect the unexpected all the time,” he said.
Overall, he said, he believes Queen Creek residents will like Mici’s menu options when it opens in August.
“It’s just the perfect town for us and we’re really excited to have people give us a shot and earn their business,” he said.