PHILADELPHIA – ARAMARK Higher Education, a world leader in providing professional services to more than 600 colleges and universities throughout North America, is bringing the local pizza shop to campus with Topio’s, a new brand offering old-world style pizza that can be customized with modern flavors and spices.

Made by using old-world techniques, Topio’s pizza includes fresh pressed dough for thin crusts, organic tomatoes and a traditional blend of Mozzarella and Asiago cheeses. Slices can be customized with a variety of spice blends, including Smokin’ Hot, Cheesy Hot, Spicy Hot and traditional oregano. Topio’s menu features a “Daily Creation” pizza, and traditional favorites, such as cheese, pepperoni and vegetebales, along with stromboli and calzones.

“Topio’s was created based on extensive, proprietary research with ‘Gen-Yers’ around the country,” said Naala Royale, vice president of marketing, ARAMARK Higher Education. “Our customers want a pizza concept that stays true to old-world tradition in terms of great dough, sauce and cheese, but brings an element of new-world customization with the infusion of modern flavors and spices. After multiple tastings with students, Topio’s was the clear winner in terms of taste, value and the overall experience.”

ARAMARK explains the Topio’s brand is loosely based on a fictional family pizzeria that has pursued pizza perfection for generations. Sal Topio, current proprietor and son of the original owners, took over the business and he regularly updates his family’s old-world pizza tradition with modern twists. Customers and fans are invited to follow Sal on Facebook and experience his pizza making art:

Topio’s is now open at University of Tennessee-Chattanooga and American International College in Springfield, Mass., and will roll-out nationally to ARAMARK-managed campuses throughout 2010-2011. Each location will feature the character of a neighborhood pizzeria with modern influences, such as digital menu boards and lighting.

Topio’s is the fifth proprietary brand launched by ARAMARK Higher Education in the last four years, joining Burger Studio, P.O.D. Provisions on Demand Market (convenience store), Zoca Fresh Mex to the Max! (Mexican) and Bleecker Street (bakery café).