The co-owner of Miraflora Naturals, a Boulder-based hemp and CBD company, also operates nearly 200 Papa John’s restaurants in Russia, and he’s not shutting them down.
In a March 14 story titled “He’s American, He Oversees Papa John’s in Russia and He’s Staying,” the New York Times detailed Christopher Wynne’s decision to keep open approximately 190 Papa John’s locations in Russia — despite the fact that Starbucks, McDonald’s and Yum Brands, the owner of KFC and Pizza Hut, had already announced they were suspending operations in Russia after its invasion of Ukraine.
Papa John’s International has also paused corporate operations in Russia — but Papa John’s International doesn’t own Papa John’s pizzerias in that country. Russians largely do, according to the Times, thanks to a franchising agreement controlled by Wynne’s company, PJ Western.
Wynne launched his hemp and CBD product manufacturing company, Miraflora Naturals, in 2020. “Chris, a native Coloradan, likes to pass himself off as ‘a pizza guy,'” according to the Miraflora website. “But what that really means is that he built one of the largest pizza franchises in the world — bringing pizza to cultures where it wasn’t a thing and donating much of the proceeds to good causes along the way.”