Chicago, IL – Freshii’s first master franchisee, David Grossman, has recently signed two new sub-franchise agreements for Chicago. Grossman has lead the trend of former corporate executives jumping at franchising in the rocky economy of 2009.
New franchisees Alex Blair and Scott Keeney will each open a minimum of one Freshii unit in Chicago. Grossman’s master franchise agreement calls for a total of 80 Freshii restaurants to eventually open in Chicago. Grossman, a former real estate executive with both General Growth Properties and Subway Corporation, has opened his own locations at Water Tower Place on N. Michigan Avenue and his second Freshii in an Equinox Fitness Club in Downtown Chicago. The Freshii chain is also headquarted in Chicago, with a corporate location at 311 S. Wacker in Chicago’s Loop.
Scott Keeney, Grossman’s first sub-franchisee, is a senior commercial real estate executive based in Chicago with 30 years of experience. Keeney has 20 years experience with shopping mall leasing, and has been responsible for more than 3,000 leases covering over 8 million square feet of space. Keeney is a 25-year veteran of General Growth Properties, and had direct P&L responsibility of approximately $300M in annual operating income, overseeing dozens of malls worth billions of dollars. Scott is a Senior Certified Leasing Specialist as designated by the International Council of Shopping Centers. He and his wife and two children reside in Chicago. A native of Pittsburgh, Keeney is a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon University.
“I read with great interest the profile of David Grossman in Shopping Centers Today Magazine, regarding David’s career move to be a Chicago master area franchisee for Freshii. I’ve known and worked with David for over 13 years. He is one of the most knowledgeable people in our industry about shopping center food concepts. I knew if David was signing up for Freshii, it had to be good. My first meeting with David was at his 200 W. Monroe store. I was blown away. The vibe in the restaurant was great. Everything was spot on: the decor, visuals, music, and upbeat staff. What sold me was the custom built menu. Similar to Starbucks, at Freshii you order your meal with exactly the ingredients you want. There must be tens of thousands of ways to build your meal. Everything is healthy, and much of the packaging is environmentally friendly. If Whole Foods were to design a fast casual restaurant, Freshii might be the model. I look forward to being my own boss after 30 years of working for someone else,” said Keeney.
New franchisee Alex Blair, 22, is Chicago’s top ranked Personal Trainer with Equinox Fitness. Blair was first introduced to the concept at Grossman’s Freshii unit located inside the Equinox Fitness location. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Blair swam competitively and set two NCAA records. Blair also has experience working in corporate marketing for Abercrombie & Fitch. About the Freshii concept, Blair says, “I heard so much buzz about how healthy and delicious Freshii was, it was hard to keep me away from the restaurant that hooked all my peers. The first time I walked Freshii, the line was out the door and around the corner. The hip, clean, and classically fresh concept was intoxicating. All I could think about was owning my own Freshii. With the sensible start up costs to open Freshii, I will be able to develop several stores instead of putting all my eggs into one location.”
The Freshii restaurant chain currently has 16 units open in Chicago and Toronto, several new restaurants currently under construction, and more than 90 units in varying stages of development in Illinois, Washington, DC, California, Philadelphia, PA, Denver, CO, New York City, Houston, TX, Colorado and Wyoming. The chain also has international development plans underway in Vienna, Austria with the first restaurant set to open in Spring of 2010.
Says Grossman, “2009 was an exciting year for me. I opened up two high volume stores and sold 2 sub-franchises in downtown Chicago. We’ve already proven the Freshii concept in Chicago, so more franchisees will soon follow. Our customers love the Freshii concept and food, and the timing couldn’t be better for opening more restaurants. Landlords are coming to us with amazing sites; the market is in our favor.”
Grossman plans to open eight new Freshii restaurants in Chicago in 2010, including six franchised units and two additional corporate units.
Said Freshii Founder and CEO Matthew Corrin, “My level of confidence in the Chicago market for Freshii continues to grow. David Grossman has demonstrated his ability to operate very high volume and successful stores in Chicago. In doing such, he is building the Freshii brand to a high level and attracting exciting partners who will continue to rollout our aggressive expansion plans for Freshii.”
Freshii opened its headquarters and first U.S. location in the heart of Chicago across from the Sears Tower. Freshii gained instant buzz from the media and its guests for offering a nutritious and delicious breakfast, lunch and mid-day snack on the go, without sacrificing taste, health needs or time. Freshii offers an array of quick, nutritious and tasty options including salads, burritos, wraps, rice bowls, yogurts and soups in a “build your own” format, served in a fast, fun, hip and environmentally sustainable atmosphere. Freshii provides healthy and convenient meals and snacks in a busy world, leaving no room for excuses. Freshii is actively looking for franchise partners who share the same goals and have a passion for promoting healthy living in a fast paced world.
Freshii’s popularity skyrocketed since the first location opened in Toronto in 2005, winning Freshii the title of Best New Retail Concept in Canada during its first year of business. Two years later, Freshii was named the 22nd Fastest Growing Company in Canada. In 2008, U.S.-based QSR Magazine dubbed Freshii “One To Watch.” In October of 2008, Freshii founder and CEO, Matthew Corrin, was interviewed by Sir Richard Branson at an interactive entrepreneur’s summit about the risks and rewards associated with owning and operating a fast growing business. Freshii CEO Corrin was also recently featured in a May 2009 New York Times article on business travel.
Freshii’s new store openings have been met by massive lines of people looking to satisfy their craving for a nutritious meal on the go. Freshii’s menu offers build-your-own salads, burritos, wraps, rice bowls, yogurts and soups in a “build your own” format, personalized with ingredients from three categories: 24/7 – super low in fat, but high in fiber, essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and lean protein, balance – essential fats, slow-burning carbs, good oils and high protein and splurge – great flavors to be enjoyed in moderation. Visit Freshii’s Web site to create a virtual salad, wrap, rice bowl or soup and instantly see the nutritional value of your ingredients. Since 2005, Freshii has achieved recognition as the perfect place for convenient, healthy and delicious meals and snacks served fast enough to fit into anyone’s busy schedule. Freshii’s hip, friendly and environmentally sustainable atmosphere has brought the concept fast popularity and triggered its nationwide expansion across North America.
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