Co-CEOs and former attorneys Rick Rosenfield and Larry Flax started California Pizza Kitchen 22 years ago, and the company is on track to top $600 million in sales this year. The chain centers its concept around hearth-baked pizzas, which are cooked for three to seven minutes at 500 degrees. "What I would think is that a lot of pizzerias today could say what they've benefited from was California Pizza Kitchen being the pioneer in gourmet pizza and taking it out to the mainstream," a marketing expert said.

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