Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson and Bobby Stuckey, founders of Frasca Food and Wine, know the rules of classic pizza-making.
Ells founded his first Chipotle Mexican Grill at 1644 East Evans Avenue twenty years ago, and today there are more than a thousand outlets around the world.
He’s been a friend of the Frasca partners for more than a decade, Mackinnon-Patterson says, “and we’ve always talked about the possibility of some kind of collaboration.” That talk became concrete two years ago, when Chipotle Mexican Grill and the Frasca founders partnered to launch a Pizzeria Locale in Denver — but one that would turn the full-service concept into a fast-casual concept, cutting prices without sacrificing on quality.
Ells’s experience with Chipotle was invaluable. “The combination of the two businesses working together is a very lethal combination,” he explains. “Chipotle is the best in the business at feeding people on a larger scale with the same kind of ingredients we use at Frasca. We thought a lot of those ideas just weren’t possible.”
But with Chipotle’s operational knowledge, they discovered they were. “We realized we could change the ways people think about pizza…how can we serve the same ingredients at less than half the price. Shockingly, it’s worked,” he says. In fact, prices in Denver were recently cut.
“Opening Pizzeria Locale using a model similar to Chipotle allows us to make extraordinary pizza, made with high-quality ingredients accessible to everyone,” Ells says in a statement announcing the partnership.
“Chipotle and Frasca have much more in common than they do apart,” adds Mackinnon-Patterson. “They really care about the customer, about ingredients, about service. They don’t want to compromise, and they don’t.”