ANNOUNCING THE WOMAN OF THE MONTH
Fort Worth women are making headlines daily as business owners, entrepreneurs, top management officers, and political leaders. So, here at Fort Worth Woman, we are selecting one of our city’s shining stars each month. These are the movers and shakers you need to know, and we are proud to honor their accomplishments as our WOMEN OF THE MONTH.
Franchise Owner & Chief Buzz Officer of Blaze Pizza
Now, I know that a lot of work has been done since that time by franchise brands to actively work on diversifying their ownership and leadership, but I am proud to be pushing boundaries in this area.
Meet November’s Fort Worth Woman! Marina Petro’s life is a delicious blend of travel, marketing, and culinary entrepreneurship. Her story is a testament to the power of passion, innovation, and a dash of wanderlust. From the bustling corridors of the entertainment industry to the cozy ambiance of Blaze Pizza, Marina has crafted a life that is a journey to savor.
Marina’s love for travel and restaurants can be traced back to her early years. “I have always had that wanderlust itch to seek out new places and experiences,” she says. This fascination led her to explore sub- and micro-cultures, always on the lookout for distinct and relevant experiences.
After graduating from college, Marina spent several years working in marketing, publicity, and promotion roles in the entertainment industry. Her thirst for knowledge led her to Northwestern University, where she earned a master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications. She then joined Yum! Brands, working in Communications roles across the KFC and Pizza Hut businesses in the U.S. and U.K.
The birth of her daughter marked a turning point in Marina’s life. “I decided it was time for a change and that I wanted to build something of my own,” she recalls. She began freelancing, providing marketing and social media consulting to small and medium-sized restaurant groups. Simultaneously, she and her husband explored opportunities to become restaurant franchisees. Their unique blend of business, marketing, and restaurant experience made them ideal candidates.
Marina and her husband fell in love with the Blaze Pizza concept. “It was a place we felt good taking our kids to,” she says. After extensive research and planning, they became franchisees. Today, they own and operate six Blaze Pizza locations across the DFW area, including Fort Worth in Waterside. Marina handles all local restaurant marketing and manages social media and influencer partnerships for their DFW Franchise marketing co-op.
DFW is better with the Petro family in town. Marina states, “I love that Fort Worth is able to stay true to its rich history and cowboy legacy while also being a shining example of Texas’ wild economic growth. You can walk on cobblestone streets, wear your boots and belt buckles, go to the honky tonk AND enjoy a fantastic food scene, world-class museums, and beautiful outdoor recreational areas.”
Much like what sets Fort Worth apart is also what sets Marina apart – a personal investment in her business. “It was important to us that whatever business we ran was one that we personally believed in and would support,” she emphasizes.
As for what’s next, Marina continues to focus on expanding her Blaze Pizza restaurants while staying true to her marketing roots. She remains committed to providing a dining experience that is both enjoyable and responsible, a reflection of her own values and beliefs.
When reflecting on her impact as a businesswoman in Fort Worth, Marina describes herself as rebellious. She describes with tenacity, “I embarked on this franchise business opportunity in part to challenge the norms of franchise ownership. I remember being at a franchise conference early in my corporate career and looking up at the brand’s franchise board members standing on the stage and being bewildered by the fact that they were all white men. I just sat there wondering why there wasn’t a single woman or representation from literally ANY other demographic. Now, I know that a lot of work has been done since that time by franchise brands to actively work on diversifying their ownership and leadership, but I am proud to be pushing boundaries in this area. I believe women have the entrepreneurial spirit and grit to get shit done thoughtfully and effectively – even while juggling a million other responsibilities. I hope that my experience can inspire others to make that big career move, take whatever risk they’ve been considering, push boundaries, or defy expectations. The more women who can challenge norms and strive for positive change, the better Fort Worth – and this world – will be as a whole.”
Marina Petro is a trailblazer with a keen sense of marketing as well as sense of self. Her journey from a marketing professional to a successful restaurant owner is an inspiration to all aspiring entrepreneurs. In a city as diverse and dynamic as Fort Worth, Marina stands as a beacon of innovation and commitment – and there’s bound to be more to come.
To learn more about Marina Petro’s Blaze Pizza locations or to get involved, you can contact her at on LinkedIn or visit any of the six DFW locations.
Michelle has a passion for connecting, encouraging and informing about the good happening in our city. The good people, events, food, stores, entrepreneurs, and good deeds are her focus. She has created a niche for herself by using social media as a native marketing tool that has created meaningful exposure for local businesses in Fort Worth to a wide but very particular local audience.