By Jim Williams

(CBS) –  Pizza prepped in the store but cooked in your own stove. It was a great concept to get that homemade taste.

But all six of the HomeMade Pizza stores have closed without any warning in the Chicago area.

CBS 2’s Jim Williams reports.

Brigitta Treumann heard the news from her son but had to come to HomeMade Pizza on Southport to see for herself.

“It’s really true and I see the ‘closed’ sign,” she says.

Shops in the city and suburbs all shut down abruptly this weekend.

Treumann says she’s sad about it because HomeMade pizza was different. They put together fresh ingredients, and you popped it on your own oven.

“You never had to be ashamed of entertaining your friends with a pizza, even though those that are picky,” she says.

New investors reportedly were brought in to revive the Chicago-based chain, which was founded 17 years ago.

But Morningstar analyst R.J. Hottovy says the so-called “fast-casual” restaurant market is increasingly competitive today.

“It’s really become the sweet spot of this industry because they are so profitable. You see a lot of people moving into these kind of spaces just because it is so lucrative,” he says.

One opinion why HomeMade pizza might have struggled comes from pizza-lover Mike Restivo. Too much work for the consumer, he believes.

“If I’m going to pay for a pizza from some company, it had better be all done, hot. Everything should be just right,” he says.

Still, it’s a loss for nearby businesses, like the House of Reign boutique, which welcomed the foot traffic from the HomeMade Pizza in the South Loop.





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