Hey guys! I apologise in advance, but you’re about to get hungry. Very hungry! I was very kindly invited over to MOD Pizza at Cardigan Fields Leisure Park in Leeds (where Vue Cinema is) to try some of their pizza. I was offered the meal free of charge for review purposes, but as always, all opinions are honest and my own! MOD Pizza Leeds is one of five MOD restaurants in the UK – they also have them in Nottingham, London Leicester Square, Brighton and Gateshead Newcastle!
MOD PIZZA – CREATION STORY!
Founded by married couple Scott and Ally Svenson, the brand are extremely family oriented. MOD Pizza started in Seattle back in 2008. The Svensons wanted somewhere where busy families could go for a quick, easy meal where everyone could have something different without a fuss. It didn’t seem to exist, so they created it themselves! The couple had spent some time living in the UK before returning to America to start their family. This is why we’re now lucky enough to have five MOD Pizza restaurants in England!
You will notice that a few of the pizzas have people’s names – this is because three of the pizzas are named after the Svenson’s children! There is also a pizza named after a young girl known to the family, who sadly died of cancer at a very young age. They wanted to keep her memory alive. This care and personal touch seems to be a theme throughout the ‘MOD family’. All of the restaurants have a photo wall (see below) with pictures of staff and family on there.
MOD Pizza also seem to genuinely care about their staff, charity and giving to the local community. I had a long chat with Trev (one of the managers), who told me all about The Bridge Foundation that MOD have implemented within the company. It is an emergency fund for staff who really need financial help. One example was one of the staff who sadly had a family member die. He couldn’t afford to go home for the funeral, so The Bridge Foundation gave him the money he needed.
I think this is amazing – there is nothing in it for the company other than to show that they genuinely do care about their staff! Not many companies would do that off their own back. Trev told me MOD Pizza are the best company she has ever worked for, and that she genuinely feels like it is one big family. I could tell by her enthusiasm and passion that she was totally genuine! She almost made me want to work there by the end of it!
This week [edited to add: actually last week – was too poorly to finish my post last week!], MOD Pizza are doing a campaign called ‘Spreading MODness’ . They, among other charitable initiatives, will be donating £1.00 of every pizza purchased across all of its restaurants in the UK and the U.S. (114 across 16 states) to a local charity partner.
In Leeds the ‘MOD Squad’ are teaming up with ongoing partner-charity Cash For Kids to celebrate one of the key aspects of spreading MODness “Gratitude with Attitude”. This focuses on encouraging staff to give back to local communities through in-store fundraising initiatives and engaging customers with the activity all week. This year, the company expects to donate over $250,000 to charity. Again, I really think this is amazing! Remember – the company don’t NEED to do this, and they will be losing profits. It just shows that they genuinely care, in my opinion!
HOW TO ORDER
When you walk into MOD Pizza, it looks a bit like a Subway counter. You can see all the fresh ingredients, to help you decide what you want to eat. Basically, you choose whether you want a salad or a pizza. My husband and I both went for pizza (of course! When in Rome and all that…) You can choose an existing pizza from the menu, which you can then add to or modify in any way you want. If none of those appeal, you can design your own pizza from scratch!
There are a few size options – we both went for the 11″. All the bases are really thin and crispy – yum. There is even the option of a double crust – literally one crust, add the sauce and then a second crust! I think I’ll have to try it some time. You start by choosing from one of five sauces (I had red sauce, think my husband had BBQ). There are all the toppings you could ever wish for, from vegetables, six types of cheese, meats, herbs and spices and a finishing sauce to be swirled on the top!
You pay a set price for your pizza (£7.47 for the MOD size) and can add as many toppings as you like, at no extra cost! This is AMAZING, as usually you would expect to pay 50p – £1 for each extra topping. I think it’s great value for money. If you get a bit too adventurous and don’t enjoy your pizza creation, you get a new pizza, free of charge!
WHAT WE ATE
If you don’t already know, I’m vegetarian. I had a Lucy Sunshine (red sauce, mozzarella, Parmesan, artichokes and garlic) and added on pineapple, red onion, sundried tomato, basil and a balsamic fig glaze to finish with!
My husband had a very meaty pizza, with chicken, spicy Italian sausage and lots more; finished with a hot buffalo sauce (I think…)! We also shared some garlic strips (a slightly smaller pizza bread, cut into strips) with a ranch dipping sauce. Those garlic strips…. I can’t even! I would happily eat those for the rest of my life! Both pizzas were amazing – so flavourful and well cooked. We even ate all our crusts, as they were so light and crispy.
I didn’t manage to finish my pizza, but MOD have takeaway boxes available to take home anything you can’t finish – so fear not, no pizza will be wasted!
WHAT WE DRANK
Hubby had a pint of IPA, which was really nice. There were also loads of bottled and canned drinks available (soft and alcohol) but I couldn’t resist the fountain drinks! There was a fizzy drink fountain which did different Cokes, Sprites etc, but there were also four fresh fountain drinks. I tried a tiny bit of each (for review purposes, of course..!)
The iced tea wasn’t to my taste but I know some people love it. The blackberry lemonade was nice, the original lemonade was AMAZING but the strawberry lemonade was my final choice! They were all flat lemonades, but had so much flavour. Yum! You can also get milkshakes with different mix-ins such as Oreo pieces!
One thing that struck me is that MOD Pizza is perfect for anyone with dietary requirements. They do gluten-free bases. They even made their red sauce vegan! It was pointed out to them that it wasn’t, as it contained Parmesan, so they altered the recipes so it could be enjoyed by vegans. I love this, as it shows that they give a damn. A lot of places aren’t so accommodating of vegans and vegetarians!
There are tons of vegan topping options, with some more unusual ones like chickpeas, olives and croutons! They also offer a dairy-free cheese, so you can get the full pizza experience, vegan or not!
Overall, we had an amazing experience at MOD Pizza Leeds! The staff were all lovely, especially Trev who was so helpful and informative, and just an overall sweetheart. She goes to other restaurants to help train up the staff, which is great as I think her enthusiasm for the company is really infectious! If you ever go there, say hi to her! We will 100% be going back to MOD… probably very soon!