Wednesday, March 26, 2003


San Ramon, California, March 26., 2003 - The Straw Hat Pizza Cooperative has
been named 2003 Franchisor of the Year by the American Association of
Franchisees and Dealers (AAFD). The AAFD is a national non-profit trade
association representing the rights and interests of franchisees and independent
dealers throughout the United States. The AAFD was formed in 1992 with the
mission of "Bringing Fairness to Franchising." Each year the AAFD recognizes
one franchise organization for exemplary franchise practices with its Franchisor of
the Year Award.

"The selection of the Straw Hat Pizza Cooperative as the AAFD Franchisor of the
Year is a testament to the premise that fair franchising, or in this case licensing, is
good business," said AAFD Chair, Robert Purvin. "Straw Hat's license agreement
embodies fairness, and as a cooperative, the company takes maximum advantage
of the group purchasing synergies that should be the rule in franchising," reported

"The Straw Hat Cooperative is very pleased to be recognized in this manner by the
AAFD," said Joshua Richman, Straw Hat President and CEO. "This award
underscores the benefits of our cooperative system; a commitment to service,
support, and value, while keeping the interests of our Membership as our foremost
concern," continued Richman. "With so many excellent franchise opportunities
available today, it is extremely gratifying to be singled out as Franchisor of the

SHCC licenses members to operate nearly 50 Straw Hat Pizza locations in California & Nevada.
The "Cooperative" is solely directed by its membership owners and has been called "the unfranchise,
franchise." It provides the benefits of a franchise system, however, the Cooperative's
individual owners enjoy greater control, and corporate overhead is kept to a minimum, (about 1/3rd
of the average franchise fee.) For more information contact Joshua Richman at the Cooperative

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