CoreLife Lands Experienced Michigan Operator as First 'Zee
CoreLife Eatery is a New York-based concept founded by Larry Wilson.
A long-standing relationship with Larry Wilson, founder of CoreLife Eatery, convinced Stevensville, Michigan-based operator Joyce Lunsford to sign on as the healthy restaurant brand’s first franchisee—that and a taste of beet lemonade, something Lunsford thought she’d hate.
“In our industry, more and more concepts are moving away from made-from-scratch and trying to simplify operations, and that’s not Core. They’re all about doing it the right way,” Lunsford says, adding she's known Wilson for years and he kept updating her about progress on his restaurant concept. In March, she visited a location with Wilson, and her development agreement was announced last week. “I was just so impressed with everything about the concept.”
Lunsford operates about 50 restaurants today, including Pizza Hut, Sonic and Moe’s Southwest Grill, and her development agreement for CoreLife Eatery is for up to 50 restaurants over eight years. She’s signed two CoreLife leases already in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and she’s visiting sites in Indiana and Detroit to scout as well.
Signing Lunsford is a coup for CoreLife, who called her in a statement “one of the best franchisees/owner-operators in the country…we are proud to have her as part of the team.”
There are six CoreLife Eatery locations in New York and two in Ohio, all corporate-owned. Construction is set to begin on Lunsford’s first CoreLife location, in Bucktown, a Grand Rapids suburb. As for the beet lemonade, we’ll save that story for the next print edition of FT.