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Crisp & Green signs NBA player to launch


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Former NBA player Kris Humphries is the first multi-unit franchisee for Crisp & Green and will build five.

When we met Ryan Burnet at the Minneapolis location of Crisp & Green last spring, the creator of the fast-casual, health-focused concept said the restaurant’s counter-service style is a model that worked immediately, yielding sales and strong volumes, “and it’s going to enable us to grow a lot more quickly.” Although he declined to share any sales figures, Burnet, the owner of several other Minneapolis restaurants said, “We’re way ahead of pro forma much earlier than any of us thought.” Just a few months later, Burnet sold a majority stake in Crisp & Green to Steele Smiley, who previously founded Steele Fitness and then sold it to franchisor Snap Fitness while he continued to manage domestic and franchise growth. “I believe this brand is special and it deserves to be taken to the next level,” Burnet said of the move. “Steele has a strong understanding of what it takes for a brand to win, and has proven his ability to scale and grow companies, especially in the development of a franchise system.” Crisp & Green officially launched its franchise program in March and recently signed its first multi-unit franchisee, former NBA player Kris Humphries.


Paciugo Re-Boot

Sinelli Concepts International is ready to bring its newest acquisition into the limelight. The owners of the Which Wich sandwich chain and Burguesa Burger picked up the franchised Paciugo Gelato Café brand out of bankruptcy court back in October. The brand is known for its authentic gelato, with many ingredients coming directly from Italy to the brand's 20,000-square-foot production facility. Since the acquisition, Jeff Sinelli said he and the new management team have been hard at work. “We wanted to make sure the company was financially sound, so we shored up all the financials and put it on solid ground. We put in a new management team, got our heads around operations and distribution,” said Sinelli, Which Wich's founder and CEO. “When you make acquisitions, you want to be real cautious about what you have. So we really spend the fist half of the year learning about what we bought, and doing what we do best, putting in systems.”

Capital for Pokeworks

In the race for raw fish dominance, Pokéworks looks to capture the lead, securing an investment from Toridoll Holdings Corp. in Japan to boost growth. Already one of the larger build-your-own poké bowl franchises in the country, with locations in 20 major markets and 100-plus restaurants in development, the investment by Toridoll positions Pokéworks to maintain its founder-led focus while also solidifying the brand’s position as a leader in the segment, the company said. A $1.6 billion holding company based in Tokyo, Toridoll operates more than 1,500 restaurant locations in Japan and throughout the world, including Hawaiian udon restaurant Marugame Seimen.

Jamba's New Focus

Jamba Juice is going private. The 800-unit brand known for its smoothies will be acquired by Focus Brands. Focus Brands will pay $13 per share, a 36 percent premium to the 200-day trading average of $9.50 that adds up to a $200 million sale price. The price shows all the work that Jamba Juice CEO Dave Pace has been doing to reinvigorate the brand over the past two years is paying off.

First D'Avignon Store
New York bakery concept Café D’Avignon, which signed its first franchise deal in March, is taking its next expansion step with the announcement of its first retail storefront on the ground floor of the popular Moxy Hotel in New York City’s Garment District. Set to open before the end of 2018, it’s the first non-food hall location for the concept that was conceived from wholesale bakery Pain D’Avignon. At 875 square feet, the new, larger store model will serve as the blueprint for future Café D’Avignon retail locations aimed for markets nationwide.

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