Mellow Mushroom Begins Gluten-free Test Program

mm8c5210c89e9450Mellow Mushroom, the Atlanta based pizza chain with locations in ten states, has been working on rolling out gluten-free pizza for well over a year. They went as far as creating their own crust recipe with the flour from Domata. The company hoped to make the crusts up at their commisary and ship them out to the various locations. However, after learning about cross contamination issues, that idea wasn’t actually feasible. This was disappointing news because it pushed back the date of the test market program.

At the end of last year, Mellow Mushroom announced that they were about to roll out a gluten-free test market program, offering the pizza in a few select locations. The crusts were reportedly coming from a midwest bakery that was making the Domata flour crusts to Mellow Mushroom specs. Since Mellow Mushroom is known for having some of the best pizza around, most people had high hopes for the crust that the company created to bear their name.

The Mellow Mushroom gluten-free test market program didn’t kick off in the beginning of the year, as had been expected. There were still a few kinks to work out. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to serving the allergen community. Therefore, Mellow Mushroom fans have been trying to be patient as the final plans were put in place for the first gluten-free pizzas to be offered at select locations.

Finally, this week, Mellow Mushroom issued a statement about the gluten-free pizza roll out. The long awaited news was exciting to be sure. However, the company has done a total turn around regarding the gluten-free crust. They have now agreed to purchase the crusts from Still Riding Pizza, which some of you might know from Pizza Fusion fame. The crusts are made in a 100% gluten-free facility.

The Mellow Mushroom locations that started serving the gluten-free pizza on April 5th are as follows:

  • Delray Beach, FL
  • Chattanooga, TN
  • Burlington, NC
  • Durham, NC
  • Statesboro, GA
  • Albany, GA
  • Conyers, GA
  • Peachtree City, GA

If the test market program doesn’t meet whatever expectations the company has for it, the gluten-free pizzas are not going to roll out to other locations. Hopefully, people in the areas where these stores are will support this great effort by Mellow Mushroom. The company is reporting that the new crust will rise like their gluten pizzas do. While you’re waiting for Mellow Mushroom’s pizza to appear in your area, the Restaurant Guide lists chain and independent pizza restaurants all over America.

Zach over at Gluten Free Raleigh is test tasting the pizza in NC some time this week so hopefully he’ll post in depth review of his experience soon!


45 thoughts on “Mellow Mushroom Begins Gluten-free Test Program”

  1. Dam why didn’t they test market Atlanta. I’m getting tired of z pizza and the drive is so far. Praying these test markets are successful.

  2. Dam why didn’t they test market Atlanta. I’m getting tired of z pizza and the drive is so far. Praying these test markets are successful.

  3. I have not had Pizza Fusion… they are not in our market but have on their web site that they are opening a Raleigh location in the 4th Quarter of 2009 (not exactly up to date).

  4. I have not had Pizza Fusion… they are not in our market but have on their web site that they are opening a Raleigh location in the 4th Quarter of 2009 (not exactly up to date).

  5. Thanks Zach – I only asked as it was my least fave crust here (our PF closed down last month). I hope they reformulated this crust just for MM but most people will probably be happy with the crust either way. My crowd is uber picky to say the least.

    Elisabeth – zpizza will soon have two crust options here soon (the vegan one they have now and the Domata crust they used to offer) and their gf menu options are about to expand even more. They are also looking into other areas for a third location. The MM pizza will come here eventually, assuming the test market proves it a viable business strategy. I’m still waiting for someone to make us FRESH gf pizza. I had it all over NYC so I know it can be done safely. The closest thing to real pizza I’ve had here is at Blue Moon and that is too far for us to go except when we are returning from TN.

  6. Thanks Zach – I only asked as it was my least fave crust here (our PF closed down last month). I hope they reformulated this crust just for MM but most people will probably be happy with the crust either way. My crowd is uber picky to say the least.

    Elisabeth – zpizza will soon have two crust options here soon (the vegan one they have now and the Domata crust they used to offer) and their gf menu options are about to expand even more. They are also looking into other areas for a third location. The MM pizza will come here eventually, assuming the test market proves it a viable business strategy. I’m still waiting for someone to make us FRESH gf pizza. I had it all over NYC so I know it can be done safely. The closest thing to real pizza I’ve had here is at Blue Moon and that is too far for us to go except when we are returning from TN.

  7. If they wanted this test market to be successful with a gluten free crowd they really should be releasing it in the Asheville, NC market! Lots of people craving gluten free pizza here and a very supportive Gluten Free community.

  8. If they wanted this test market to be successful with a gluten free crowd they really should be releasing it in the Asheville, NC market! Lots of people craving gluten free pizza here and a very supportive Gluten Free community.

  9. Hope you roll out to the Mellow Mushroom in Hilton Head SOON. So many people live there year-round and so many more visit every year. There are VERY limited gluten free dining options — especially for pizza! Hurry.

  10. Hope you roll out to the Mellow Mushroom in Hilton Head SOON. So many people live there year-round and so many more visit every year. There are VERY limited gluten free dining options — especially for pizza! Hurry.

  11. Just like Asheville, NC , Athens, GA is craving some good GF pizza too! Lots of folks here of like mind and unfortunately, of like with celiac/gluten intolerance. We have a lovely Mellow Mushroom nestled in downtown Athens that I have not been to in a few years since diagnosed. I make a mean crust myself, but don’t always have time…looking forward to trying it out!

  12. Just like Asheville, NC , Athens, GA is craving some good GF pizza too! Lots of folks here of like mind and unfortunately, of like with celiac/gluten intolerance. We have a lovely Mellow Mushroom nestled in downtown Athens that I have not been to in a few years since diagnosed. I make a mean crust myself, but don’t always have time…looking forward to trying it out!

  13. Awesome! We are so excited to have GF pizza in Chattanooga. I have not been there yet. But I guarantee it will be this weekend… my family will be glad to go somewhere different! They have been so supportive of my GF needs. Thanks!

  14. Awesome! We are so excited to have GF pizza in Chattanooga. I have not been there yet. But I guarantee it will be this weekend… my family will be glad to go somewhere different! They have been so supportive of my GF needs. Thanks!

  15. This is great to hear!! I live in LaGrange, GA and would gladly drive 40 miles up to Peachtree City for good GF pizza; I do get tired of the frozen GF crusts, which can be soggy, not matter how long you bake it. Recently, I had asked a few MM owners in Nashville and Atlanta (at the Roswell Road location) if they would have a GF pizza crust soon but they knew nothing about it; so I am happy to hear that MM was working on it. Hopefully other pizza chains will follow suit.

  16. This is great to hear!! I live in LaGrange, GA and would gladly drive 40 miles up to Peachtree City for good GF pizza; I do get tired of the frozen GF crusts, which can be soggy, not matter how long you bake it. Recently, I had asked a few MM owners in Nashville and Atlanta (at the Roswell Road location) if they would have a GF pizza crust soon but they knew nothing about it; so I am happy to hear that MM was working on it. Hopefully other pizza chains will follow suit.

  17. I went to the Mellow Mushroom location in Peachtree City, GA on Saturday, April 10th, but they have not started serving the GF pizza yet. Partners Pizza in Newnan, GA in the Summergrove area does serve GF pizza though.

  18. I went to the Mellow Mushroom location in Peachtree City, GA on Saturday, April 10th, but they have not started serving the GF pizza yet. Partners Pizza in Newnan, GA in the Summergrove area does serve GF pizza though.

  19. As a college student, and daily downtown trekker, I often go to Mellow and drink a Woodchuck and eat a salad while my fellow ‘Shroomers enjoy their pizza with their oodles of toppings, ranging from local veggies to cheeses galore to meats upon meats. Leaving me to chug my Woodchuck.
    But now? I can EAT PIZZA! IN A BOOTH! And it doesn’t cost anymore than a typical MM pie. And let me tell you: it. is. awesome. I bought one on the way home from work, and ate five (yes, five) pieces in the car. Both the white and red sauces are a great compliment to the crust, and said crust is both flakey on the edges and chewy under those luscious toppings. A thin-crust fan will love this pizza, so I was in hog heaven! It’s totally safe, made in a dedicated area, and shipped in frozen, so I trust these guys.
    Having missed restaurant-style pizza these past eight years, I’m making sure to tell everyone I know to write letters, regardless of their city, to either:
    – get the crust in their area
    – keep it around, or
    – support the Mellow!
    Thank goodness I eat something other than Esperanza dressing… it was getting a little old :)

  20. As a college student, and daily downtown trekker, I often go to Mellow and drink a Woodchuck and eat a salad while my fellow ‘Shroomers enjoy their pizza with their oodles of toppings, ranging from local veggies to cheeses galore to meats upon meats. Leaving me to chug my Woodchuck.
    But now? I can EAT PIZZA! IN A BOOTH! And it doesn’t cost anymore than a typical MM pie. And let me tell you: it. is. awesome. I bought one on the way home from work, and ate five (yes, five) pieces in the car. Both the white and red sauces are a great compliment to the crust, and said crust is both flakey on the edges and chewy under those luscious toppings. A thin-crust fan will love this pizza, so I was in hog heaven! It’s totally safe, made in a dedicated area, and shipped in frozen, so I trust these guys.
    Having missed restaurant-style pizza these past eight years, I’m making sure to tell everyone I know to write letters, regardless of their city, to either:
    – get the crust in their area
    – keep it around, or
    – support the Mellow!
    Thank goodness I eat something other than Esperanza dressing… it was getting a little old :)

  21. This sounds wonderful. I really hope the testing goes well.I would love to have some GF pizza at the MM in Greenville,SC. All you testers out there….I’m jealous!

  22. This sounds wonderful. I really hope the testing goes well.I would love to have some GF pizza at the MM in Greenville,SC. All you testers out there….I’m jealous!

  23. Tiffany,
    Why not test market Savannah, Ga. It seems as if they are testing smaller markets. Savannah is becoming more supportive of GF products.

    Frustrated in Savannah!

  24. Tiffany,
    Why not test market Savannah, Ga. It seems as if they are testing smaller markets. Savannah is becoming more supportive of GF products.

    Frustrated in Savannah!

  25. I plan on visiting North Carolina this June. Can you tell me the your three best places to eat gluten free? I plan on trying pizza from the Mellow Mushroom. Thanks

  26. I plan on visiting North Carolina this June. Can you tell me the your three best places to eat gluten free? I plan on trying pizza from the Mellow Mushroom. Thanks

  27. PLEASE bring gluten-free crust to the Mellow Mushroom in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina! That is the one food I miss the MOST since my CD diagnosis. Me and my fellow celiacs would eat there ALL OF THE TIME if we only could!

  28. PLEASE bring gluten-free crust to the Mellow Mushroom in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina! That is the one food I miss the MOST since my CD diagnosis. Me and my fellow celiacs would eat there ALL OF THE TIME if we only could!

  29. So great to hear this. I loved Mellow Mushroom when I went to school in Atlanta at Emory from 1990-1994. Back then, when the company was one (maybe two) locations and I hadn’t been diagnosed yet, I must have ordered in Mellow Mushroom at least 2 times a week. I can’t wait to be in a city where there is a Mellow Mushroom serving gluten-free pizza. I will happily do a product review on my blog, The Gluten-free RD, glutenfreerd.wordpress.com

  30. So great to hear this. I loved Mellow Mushroom when I went to school in Atlanta at Emory from 1990-1994. Back then, when the company was one (maybe two) locations and I hadn’t been diagnosed yet, I must have ordered in Mellow Mushroom at least 2 times a week. I can’t wait to be in a city where there is a Mellow Mushroom serving gluten-free pizza. I will happily do a product review on my blog, The Gluten-free RD, glutenfreerd.wordpress.com

  31. Pizza Fusion in Buckhead had awesome gf pizza and the internet just said they went out of business – so – sad as the crust was thin, crispy and awesome! Hoping MM decides to carry gf pizza at their Roswell, Ga. location as I have at least six gluten free/Celiacs I know in the area……

  32. Pizza Fusion in Buckhead had awesome gf pizza and the internet just said they went out of business – so – sad as the crust was thin, crispy and awesome! Hoping MM decides to carry gf pizza at their Roswell, Ga. location as I have at least six gluten free/Celiacs I know in the area……

  33. Had gluten free, dairy free pizza at Mellow Mushroom in Centennial, CO last weekend. It was delicious! It’s hard to find pizza places that can accommodate both restrictions and have it taste good. I give it two thumbs up.

  34. Had gluten free, dairy free pizza at Mellow Mushroom in Centennial, CO last weekend. It was delicious! It’s hard to find pizza places that can accommodate both restrictions and have it taste good. I give it two thumbs up.

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