Naked Pizza strips calories for healthy alternative

By Kendall Smith

A new pizza joint is aiming to make a name for itself in Lexington this year.

Unlike most other pizzerias, Naked Pizza prides itself on not only its quality, but also its healthy aspects.

“Naked Pizza just means that our food is stripped of all chemicals – anything that’s not actually food,” said Krystal Wheatley, general manager of the new Lexington location. “We have a number of things that make us different. We have fewer calories in our pizza. We don’t add sugar or butter or anything to our sauce. We boost our dough with fiber and probiotics that are essential for a sense of balance.”

While a relatively new franchise, this will be the second Naked Pizza location in Kentucky, with even more planned in the future. The first was opened in Louisville.

According to Wheatley, there are plans to have as many as 15 locations in the state of Kentucky within five years.

Although Naked Pizza places emphasis on healthy eating, that does not mean you won’t be able to find your favorite pizza toppings.

“We have a few specialty items that we already have built for our customers to try, but you can also just build your own,” Wheatley said. “We have all the ingredients. Just because we consider ourselves healthy doesn’t mean we eliminate normal toppings. We provide healthier versions of those toppings.”

Because of the nature of their pizza, attempting to make comparisons between Naked Pizza and other pizzerias is a bit difficult.

“What we’ re doing is more than just serving food that is healthy,” said Tom Murro, general manager of the store in Louisville. “We want to change the idea about making as much money as you can selling pizza. It’ s not about the bottom dollar. We do these things not just for the health idea, but because they’re better.”

Of course, it is inevitable that there will be those who will at least attempt to draw comparisons between Naked Pizza and other established pizza franchises, but like many other things, it’s all a matter of taste.

“You’ll always have preference,” said Chesley Sommer, shift manager at the Louisville store. “It’s regular pizza. We’re not doing anything outlandish with our pizza, we’re just making regular pizza – a product people know. It’s all about what’s in the pizza.”

Joe Snider, another shift manager at the store in Louisville, likened Naked Pizza to the pizza the major chains used to make.

“Honestly, it tastes like pizza did from the major chains years ago,” Snider said.

“They’ve declined in quality. Any other pizza place you go, there’s not any fiber. Our pizza isn’t greasy, either.”

Naked Pizza also offers somewhat uncommon topping choices, such as black beans, and even more uncommon side items, such as spinach salads.

“We do a lot of different stuff you won’t find at other places,” Snider said. “We have a hydroponic system here at the store that allows us to grow our own basil, for example.”

Naked Pizza is located on Broadway in the shopping center under The Lex and will be opening Jan. 22. Store hours will be Sunday through Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to 12 a.m., and Thursday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 4 a.m. They will deliver to the whole campus area.