Larry Flax and Rick Rosenfield had 86 California Pizza Kitchen locations in 1996 when manufacturer Kraft Corp. approached them about a frozen-pizza partnership. With minds whirling in the wake of CPK’s then-recent spinoff from PepsiCo, the two were a bit uncertain.“The truth is, we never thought about it before then,” said co-chief executive Larry Flax. “We were just trying to run a restaurant company that was ours again.”But having access to Kraft’s manufacturing prowess and its established ...

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