The Columbian: Papa Murphy's Interim CEO Discusses Future of the Brand
The Columbian: Papa Murphy's Interim CEO Discusses Future of the Brand

Jean Birch elaborates on what's in store for Papa Murphy's after going public nearly three years ago

Papa Murphy's interim CEO Jean Birch was one of more than 60 corporate team members working alongside the brand's most influential franchisees for their day of service. The goal of this initiative was to help strengthen the relationship for what Birch believes will be a big year.

“It’s always good to ground yourself with where the business is,” Birch said in an interview with The Columbian. “As a franchisor, you own the brand and you need to be a good steward of the brand, but you can never lose sight of how much work it takes to run a good business.”

Papa Murphy's went public nearly three years ago and is still working to recover from what proved to be a bumpy start. But now, with guidance from a revamped leadership team and the help of long-time, dedicated franchisees, they have an encouraging start for the brand's turnaround story.

The concept has been battling against growing competition, with frozen pizzas overcrowding the shelves at supermarkets and convenience stores. But Papa Murphy's has seen success by being an innovator in the take-and-bake space and aims to get back in front of their target consumer, parents, through creative new approaches.

“That is the core of who is going to stop to buy our pizza on their way home,” said Birch to editor Troy Brynelson. “Mom’s still really feel like they’re responsible for providing dinner. It’s not that we don’t sell to everyone — we want everyone to buy — but that’s who we talk to.”

Looking ahead, Papa Murphy's is vetting out delivery options - starting with a partnership with Amazon that launched in April. The brand also aims to open 75 additional stores prior to the end of the year.

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