Savory, the Salt Lake City-based investment fund, has invested in a Detroit-style pizza concept based in Austin, Tex., called Via 313 Pizzeria.
It’s the second announced deal in about three weeks for the $100 million Savory Fund, which invested in the chicken concept Crack Shack last month.
In Via 313 it gets a piece of a concept that was started in a small trailer in downtown Austin in 2011—the company now has three brick-and-mortar locations and two permanently placed trailers.
It also joins a hotly competitive pizza market. “I grew up in Chicago and have always had an affinity for pizza,” Andrew Smith, managing director for Savory, said in a statement. “Despite the crowded fast-casual pizza industry, I believe there is a large hole in the market for the nostalgic pizza I grew up on.”
Savory, which recently closed on its fund, is targeting growth concepts at a time when many other investors have backed off—sensing an opportunity to get a piece of growth chains that demonstrated some wherewithal during the pandemic.
The fund, started with the private equity firm Mercato Partners, features numerous executives with operations experience. Its portfolio includes Mo’Bettahs, R&R BBQ and Swig in addition to Crack Shack.
The fund believes it found another such gem in Via 313. “By combining all of our collective experience, we have an opportunity to lead out on this segment of Detroit-style pizza,” Smith said.
Brandon Hunt, Via’s cofounder, noted that Savory’s management team “has a deep understanding of our industry and a clear plan for where we need to go next.”
Brandon Hunt founded the chain with his brother Zane Hunt to bring “Detroit-style pizza” to places outside of their hometown of Detroit. “We were the first to call it ‘Detroit-style pizza’ outside of our hometown nine years ago,” Zane Hunt said in a statement, noting that the investment from Savory will enable the concept to expand into more cities outside of Detroit.