|Founded||June 29, 1983; 36 years ago|
|Headquarters||Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, U.S.|
|Vince Schmuhl, Founder & President|
Number of employees
Blackjack Pizza is a Colorado-based pizza delivery chain founded in 1983 by a former Domino's Pizza employee, Vince Schmuhl, because Domino's Pizza was the only major pizza delivery company in the Rocky Mountain region and he thought customers would appreciate an alternative. The pizza chain is the largest in Colorado with 800 employees, some of whom work part-time. On January 1, 2013, Blackjack Pizza was acquired by Askar Brands.
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The first Blackjack Pizza store opened on June 29, 1983, in Federal Heights with a second store opening in Greeley by February 1984. By 1986, Blackjack had grown to six corporate stores and one franchisee. The company headquarters, by 1999, was in what was then the Castlewood census-designated place in unincorporatedArapahoe County, Colorado, near Englewood. The territory became a part of Centennial, which incorporated in 2001 with all of the territory of the Castlewood CDP.
In 1988, Blackjack became a franchisor with the sale of several corporate stores to franchisees. As of 2018 Blackjack Pizza operated 45 stores in five states. Blackjack's tagline is 'Better Pizza, Better Price.'
Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the high schoolseniors who committed the 1999 Columbine High School massacre worked at the Blackjack Pizza store in Littleton, Colorado, and Harris eventually became shift manager. At this pizza parlor, the two teens made important acquaintances who were inadvertently connected to the attack at Columbine High School. The two teens were able to meet Mark Manes, the man who sold them the TEC-9 that they used in the attack, through the connection of Philip Duran, a fellow employee at the Blackjack Pizza store where they worked.
Denver Broncos wide receiver Rod Smith appeared frequently in Blackjack commercials until October 2008 when Blackjack rolled out a new ad campaign featuring the cast of Impulse Theater. Smith's slogan for Blackjack Pizza ads was 'Stick with the home team.'
Blackjack Pizza donated money to a number of organizations. In 2005, Blackjack donated $8,842.40 to the Bonfils Blood Center Foundation, which was selected by Blackjack Pizza to be the winner of the '80 Cent Pizza Promotion'. The pizzeria also sponsored a Future Farmers of America program in Fort Morgan, Colorado. In 2006, the franchise offered a deal to customers that every time they ordered the 'Children's Hospital Special', the franchise would give a dollar to the Children's Hospital in Aurora, Colorado.
On January 1, 2013, Blackjack Pizza was acquired by Askar Brands, a Michigan-based company.
Blackjack Pizza Colorado Springs
Blackjack Pizza Castle Rock Colorado County
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- ^Home. Blackjack Pizza. October 12, 1999. Retrieved on October 18, 2018. '9137 E Mineral Cr - Suite 100 Englewood CO 80112'
- ^'CENSUS 2000 BLOCK MAP: CASTLEWOOD CDP.' U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on October 18, 2018. In the 1990 Census Map (index map) on pages 40 and 59.
- ^'Centennial, Colorado Wards.' City of Centennial. February 3, 2001. Retrieved on October 18, 2018.
- ^United States Summary, 2010: Population and housing unit counts. U.S. Census Bureau, 2012. p. V-20 (SL22-PA20). 'CENTENNIAL CITY, CO (2010 population rank 281). Incorporated in 2001 including all of Castlewood and Southglenn CDPs.'
- ^ abScott, Julie (2006-01-30). 'Blackjack Pizza Customers Raise Dough for Bonfils Blood Center'. Bonfils Blood Center. Archived from the original on 2009-01-05. Retrieved 2008-10-25.
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Eric and Dylan started at Blackjack in the spring of their sophomore year, cooking pizzas for $5.15 an hour.
- ^Lowe, Peggy (2000-11-22). 'Pizza Jobs Gave Connections Killers Made Contacts Who Helped Them with Guns, Explosives They Used in School Attack'. Rocky Mountain News. Archived from the original on 2012-10-23. Retrieved 2008-10-25.
- ^Abbott, Karen (2001-01-24). 'Columbine defendants deny responsibility'. Rocky Mountain News. Archived from the original on 2012-09-12. Retrieved 2008-10-25.
- ^'Colleague of Columbine shooters arrested'. CNN. 1999-06-18. Archived from the original on 2005-03-08. Retrieved 2008-10-25.
- ^Pitzel, Heather (2004-04-19). 'Manes: 'I made a bad mistake''. Rocky Mountain News. Archived from the original on 2009-03-01. Retrieved 2008-10-25.
Duran, meanwhile, was working with Klebold and Harris at a Blackjack Pizza shop. He introduced them to Manes at a gun show in Denver because they wanted to buy his TEC-DC9.
- ^Cotton, Anthony (2007-09-30). 'The game of commercial appeal'. The Denver Post. Archived from the original on 2012-10-16. Retrieved 2008-10-25.
For most of his 13 years in town, Smith said he wasn't very interested in doing commercials, feeling they might be a distraction from his main task - playing football. He recently relented, though, doing some spots for Blackjack Pizza.
- ^Thorburn, Ryan (2006-08-15). 'Tatum still trails Mike Bell at RB'. Daily Camera. Archived from the original on 2007-10-20. Retrieved 2008-10-25.
- ^Brown, Irv; Williams, Joe (2008). The Great Book of Denver Sports Lists. Running Press. p. 91. ISBN978-0-7624-3355-1.
- ^'On the Move: Noteworthy'. Rocky Mountain News. 2006-03-28. Archived from the original on 2012-10-14. Retrieved 2008-10-25.
Blackjack Pizza presented Bonfils Blood Center Foundation with a check for $8,842.40. Bonfils was selected by Blackjack Pizza franchisees as the beneficiary of the locally based 80 Cent Pizza Promotion in 2005.
- ^Chaney, Jesse (2008-10-01). 'FFA project helps local seniors'. Fort Morgan Times. Archived from the original on 2008-10-02. Retrieved 2008-10-25.
- ^'Colorado business'. The Denver Post. 2006-11-01. Archived from the original on 2012-10-16. Retrieved 2008-10-25.
- ^'Askar Brands: Blackjack Pizza'. Askar Brands. 2013. Archived from the original on 2014-08-15. Retrieved 2014-11-11.