Mustard Cafe -
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Quick Business Facts
Founded: 2002
Franchising Since: 2004
Corporate Office: 2 Venture Plaza, Suite 460
Irvine, CA 92618
Industries: , , , , , , ,
Resources: » Consumer Information

Company History

It's been said that in New York, the most brilliant ideas and plans are hatched in the back seat of a taxicab. At least that's how it all started for the co-founders of Mustard Café® restaurants, Alireza Alavian and Sue Hewes.

During that fabled cab ride, Ali was eating a sandwich from one of Manhattan's esteemed corner delis--Boar's Head cracked pepper turkey, Muenster cheese, yellow mustard, and mayo on a Kaiser roll. He turned to Sue and asked, "Why can't they get a great New York-style sandwich like this back in California?"

The idea for Mustard was born on the spot. Fine-tuning the thousands of details that make the Mustard Café experience so special, however, required many months of focused effort. Sue and Ali labored tirelessly over site selection, restaurant architecture, décor options and design elements, establishment of relationships with suppliers and vendors, and menu development with the assistance of their friend Arianna, a graduate of the French Culinary Institute.

On April 4, 2002, all elements were in place for the grand opening of the very first restaurant location, at Oak Creek Center in Irvine, California. The response was overwhelming, with lines of customers out the door. Almost overnight, Mustard built a reputation among locals for the best-tasting sandwiches and soups in Orange County. People loved the painstaking attention paid to every detail of a sandwich, from six mustard choices and selections of gourmet meats and cheeses to six varieties of bread, delivered fresh daily from artisan bakeries.

A second Mustard Café opened and they became a franchise. The Mustard dining concept and brand proved so popular that the owners moved ahead with plans to establish a booming franchise operation.

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