A sign in the Bangor Portland Pie Co. location. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Stephen Freese, a co-founder of Portland Pie Co., the Portland-based pizza, sandwich and salad restaurant, has died at the age of 52.

Freese passed away on Feb. 2, according to his obituary.

With college friends Nat Getchell and Phil Pelletier, Freese helped launch Portland Pie in 1997 as a take-out and delivery shop on India Street in Portland, Mainebiz reported.

The business expanded to include a Scarborough-based dough-making division — It’ll Be Pizza — which now supplies dough to retailers such as Hannaford Supermarkets, the outlet reported.

Portland Pie grew to include eight restaurants in Maine, serving customers in Bangor Portland, Brunswick and Waterville.

Freese is survived by his wife, Nora, son Colton and daughter Lilah, his obituary read. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Animal Refuge League, 217 Landing Road, Westbrook, ME 04092, and to the Center for Grieving Children, 555 Forest Ave., Portland, ME 04101.