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Founded in 2008 by Drew French, Athens, Ga.-based Your Pie is not far behind Uncle Maddio’s unit count, with 18 locations, mostly in the Southeast. Next month, Your Pie will open its 19th restaurant, a corporate location that will feature a new design and updated menu.

Last year, the chain’s franchising arm won an undisclosed investment from Atlanta-based private-equity firm Georgia Oak Partners. French, who is founder and president, is now a franchisee, with ownership in five units.

Units: 18 in Georgia, Tennessee, Florida and South Carolina

Units by end of 2014: 27, plus the new markets of Alabama and North Carolina. All but one location will be franchised.

Signed franchise agreements in development: 10 to open within a year and a half

Menu news: The new flagship restaurant to open in mid-May will have a new design and menu presentation, including the addition of chopped salads and more quality products. The housemade dough and brick-oven pizza baking process won’t change, but Your Pie is fine-tuning its craft beer offerings.

“We’re trying not only to change the way people think about pizza, but also to change the way they think about fast casual,” said French.

What gives it an edge: Passion. “We developed the brand from a blank canvas,” said French. “We’ve got the most passion and most experience.”