October 16, 2012 // Franchising.com // Chicago, IL – Freshii, the pioneering “health casual” food concept, is continuing rapid growth and has recently signed a major master development deal for the entire country of Colombia. With 60 stores in operation and over 400 in development, they are expanding worldwide with the help of franchise development partner Fransmart, a leader in international franchising, who have also brought brands such as Elevation Burger and zpizza to the Middle East. With international stores already open in the UAE, Canada and Austria, this deal will mark their entry into the Latin American market, and the opportunity to seize brand new development territories. The brand’s master franchisees for the territory, Carlos Acosta and Jaime Pumarejo, were intrigued by the brand after coming across the “30 Under 30” article in Inc. Magazine, which featured Freshii’s CEO, Matthew Corrin.
While discussing what they felt made Freshii unique, the franchisees said, “We feel strongly that the new trend in food choice is the healthy choice. We are seeing it amongst our generation, and even more in future generations. Schools and government organizations are investing more every day in promoting better nutritional choices and we believe that the consumer of tomorrow is going to be more focused on a healthy lifestyle. As a brand, Freshii focuses on healthy fast-casual food, and amongst the other brands with the same focus, Freshii has superior design, ambience and product mix.”
Carlos Acosta graduated from Columbia University in New York, and has over 7 years of experience in the real estate development business as Operating VP for Omega Alpha Development. Jaime Pumarejo has a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and an MBA from the IE Business School in Madrid, Spain. He is a dedicated entrepreneur with a passion for innovation, and currently serves as the General Manager for the Convention Center Complex Development for the city of Barranquilla. Both Acosta and Pumarejo share Freshii’s hunger for innovation and feel strongly about the brand’s global growth, and its potential in Colombia.
An IFA article from September 2012 says, “According to reports from the U.S. Franchise Trade Mission to Latin America, Bogota’s altitude [of 8,000 feet above sea level] may hint at the heights U.S. franchising can reach in this booming country of more than 46 million.” Freshii is eager to enter such a solid foreign market and Corrin is already planning a visit to Colombia the week of October 22 to lend his support for the new area developers and help generate sub-franchisee interest for them. Due to the high demand and excitement in the region, Corrin, as well as a representative from Fransmart, will also be meeting with groups in other parts of Latin America wanting to take part in the ‘good and good-for-you’ initiative that Freshii represents, as the 20 unit deal leaves plenty of room for more deals in the region.
The franchisees are currently looking for real estate in the Northern region of Colombia’s capital city of Bogota, and hope to open their first store by the first quarter of 2013. Subsequently, they plan to have units open in the cities of Barranquilla, Medellin, Cali and Cartagena within the next 3-4 years.
Freshii is a “health casual” concept, offering guests a nutritious and delicious meal on the go, without sacrificing taste or time. The menu includes custom built salads, burritos, wraps, rice bowls, yogurts and soups in a "build your own" format, served in a fast, fun, hip and environmentally sustainable atmosphere. With headquarter offices in Chicago, IL and Toronto, Canada, and partner offices in Washington, DC and Newport Beach, CA, Freshii has experienced a development boom. Since working with Fransmart Freshii has opened over 50 units in 4 countries, with another 300 stores under development. The innovative concept has also won multiple awards, including ranking #8 on Fast Casual’s Top 100 Movers & Shakers and NRN’s Top 100 Social Brands. Founder and CEO, Matthew Corrin, has become a notable name in the industry, compared to Howard Shultz by Fast Casual Magazine, named to Inc Magazine’s Top 30 Under 30 CEOs, Ernst & Young's 2011 Entrepreneur of the Year and Crain’s “Top 40 under 40” entrepreneurs.
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