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Placer pizza place ranked nationally

Locations in Old Town Auburn, Lincoln and Roseville
By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Columnist
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The steady climb up the national pizza-place Hot 100 chart continues for a Placer County pizzeria that started in Auburn and now includes same-named eateries in Roseville and Lincoln.

Old Town Pizza has jumped from No. 37 to the 30th spot on Pizza Today magazine’s annual Hot 100 list. The listing was released this week and the ranking is based on gross sales. The list is limited to independent shops with nine or fewer units.

Old Town Pizza reported gross sales of $6.3 million for the past year - a jump from $5.6 million in 2017 and a nearly 50 percent increase from 2016, when the business was ranked 51st.

Old Town Pizza, operated by the Browning family, was founded by Brian and Maureen Hays at the former Wine Cellar location at  150 Sacramento Street in Old Town Auburn in 1999. Reese Browning bought the restaurant in 2002 and added a second location in Lincoln two years later. By 2014, the Hot 100 had ranked Old Town Pizza as No. 80 and the steady rise into the Top 30 followed the opening of a Roseville Old Town Pizza that year.

This year’s No. 1 pizza place is Marion’s Piazza in Dayton, Ohio. The nine-unit business grossed $21.4 million. Finishing a close second was Woodstock’s Pizza of San Diego, with eight  eateries and sales of $21.3 million.

“Making the list is quite an accomplishment,” Pizza Today Editor-In-Chief Jeremy White said. “Each year our readers await the release of the Hot 100 anxiously. Making it here isn’t easy - it’s a testament to many factors such as great food and service, solid marketing and old-fashioned hard work.”