Local Entrepreneurs to Expand Freshii Restaurants throughout Houston
November 10, 2009 // Franchising.com // Chicago, IL -- Restaurant industry professionals and husband-and-wife team, Javier and Teresa Bueno, have signed a Master Franchise agreement to open 20+ Freshii stores in the Greater Houston, Texas market. Javier and Teresa are owners of Third Coast Produce, a produce distribution company that supplies independent, franchised, chain, fast-food, fast-casual, and full service restaurants in the Houston area. After reading about Freshii in several publications they had to check out the concept and see what the buzz was all about.
"Being 'plugged' into the industry I saw a demand for healthy and fresh food beginning to increase in Houston, but the restaurant options were few and far between and there was very little focus on branding. I began to research options and discovered Freshii. I see Freshii as the perfect brand for addressing a growing demand for fresh, organic food that is good for the entire family. A further appeal to Freshii is its earth friendly focus - through packaging choices and operations techniques. As a fitness competitor I live a healthy, balanced life and want to offer those in the Houston community a convenient option for healthy eating," said Javier. The husband and wife are eyeing several immediate locations with the first expected to open early 2010.
"Houston is a top tier target market for Freshii, as the 4th largest metro in the US. Their "Tunnel" system is similar to the Toronto underground "PATH", where we have some of our most successful restaurants in our chain," says Matthew Corrin, Freshii CEO. "I am confident that with their passion for health and wellness combined with their strength in the world of produce supply, Javier and Teresa will be very successful expanding Freshii in Houston."
Javier Bueno, a graduate of University of Houston with degrees in finance and accounting, and his 2 brothers were all born in Mexico and immigrated to Houston when he was 5 years old. His father supported their family of 6 on $200 a week working as a baker. In 1981 his father started working for a produce company, where he learned that business for 10 years before starting Third Coast produce with $21,000 and a used delivery van. Now, under Javier and Teresa's leadership, Third Coast Produce has over 40 trucks delivering around Houston with sales over $50 million.
"Great food, custom-built, in a fast-casual setting" is Freshii's mantra, offering its guests a nutritious and delicious breakfast, lunch and mid-day snack on the go, without sacrificing taste, health needs or time. The menu includes 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, which started in Toronto, Canada and is now headquartered in Chicago, has 16 restaurants opened in the US and Canada and another 100+ in development in NYC, Chicago, Washington, DC, Colorado, Los Angeles and now Eastern Europe. Freshii restaurants range in size from 150sf kiosks to 1500sf inline locations and are a blend of high volume fresh customized meals, grab-and-go, and gourmet snack food.