Chicago-area chain HomeMade Pizza filed for protection under Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy law last month.
The fresh foods chain filed its Chapter 7 petition Dec. 3, listing assets between $10,000 and $50,000 and liabilities of about $11.2 million, according to Crain’s Chicago Business. Through this Ch. 7 liquidation bankruptcy, HomeMade Pizza will formally liquidate its assets and apportion them to pay what it can of its debts.
The filing demonstrates just how bad the financial condition of the take-and-bake pizza company was – even after closing its 30 stores on May 30 of last year, the news source reported. Of the $11.2 million that HomeMade Pizza owes to 130 creditors, almost half of that – $5.1 million – is owed to HMP, an investment entity controlled by Matthew Pritzker. HomeMade also has large debts to investors Gary Brinson, Martin Murch and Gary and Mary West.
The privately held chain was founded by brothers-in-law Eric Fosse and Matthew Weinstein in 1997, according to The Chicago Tribune. The two are no longer affiliated with the company. HomeMade Pizza offered unbaked pizzas made with fresh, local ingredients. Customers would purchase pies and bake them at home themselves. Unfortunately for the company and its investors, this intriguing business model ultimately proved to be unsuccessful.
“It was extremely popular with our fan base,” Rick Spicher, who was the company’s chief operating officer during its last 18 months, told the news source. “We just didn’t have enough volume coming in.”
Fosse echoed this sentiment in a conversation with Crain’s.
“We grew this thing from a seed into something we felt was really great,” said Fosse, who wasn’t involved in the company after his departure. “A lot of factors beyond our control brought it to an unpleasant end. I feel bad for the customers and everyone involved with HomeMade Pizza. It was a great product and a great ride.”