January 08, 2016 // Franchising.com // DAVIE, Fla. – Executives from two popular, Florida-based, healthy food destinations are teaming to form a mutually beneficial partnership. In an effort to drive growth of both brands, the agreement allows each company’s area of expertise to benefit the other’s franchise system.
Froots Founder & President David Lopez and EVP of Business Development Scott Mortier are forming F & G Development Group with Gyroville Founder & CEO Lambros Kokkinelis and COO David Kurlander to focus on operational and development strategies that will heighten both brands. As part of the new partnership, Kokkinelis and Kurlander will collaborate to enhance store operations of Froots, while Lopez and Mortier will spearhead Gyroville franchise development efforts.
“This partnership allows us to focus on what we do best – grow franchise brands,” Mortier said. “As Froots enters its next stage of growth, David and I are taking a more active role in expanding the brand. As part of our strategy, we’re bringing in highly-experienced operators that can further develop the menu and operational systems that benefit our franchise community. Lambros and David have incredible backgrounds in restaurant operations. I’m confident that bringing in their expertise will drive efficiencies and establish the systems we need to continue expansion.”
Both graduates of the renowned Culinary Institute of America in New York, Kokkinelis and Kurlander bring a combined 40 years of culinary experience working in a variety of restaurant concepts, including fast-casual and casual dining. Kokkinelis has been the owner and operator of three Moonlite Diner locations in South Florida since 2004. In 2010, he recognized that consumers were increasingly seeking healthier options in a fast-casual setting and responded to this trend by creating Gyroville, which has since grown to nine locations. Kurlander was an integral part of Gyroville’s development from the beginning; he created and implemented the restaurant’s efficient systems that helped structure food costs, purchasing and day-to-day operations. Prior to joining Gyroville, Kurlander was the Director of Operations for Urban Life Restaurant Group from 2005-2010, where he oversaw day-to-day operations for Moonlite Diner locations in South Florida.
“We’ve spent the past year developing our branding and systems for franchising – we just needed someone to drive it,” said Kokkinelis. “David and Scott have already established successful franchise systems, and have the infrastructure in place that will help us grow at the right pace. Both of our concepts offer fresh, healthy food options so this was an excellent synergy of everyone’s expertise.”
Lopez and Mortier have a combined 35-plus years in franchise sales. A young, serial entrepreneur who is a partner in more than 45 companies, Lopez founded Froots in 2001 and began franchising the concept in 2004. In 2009, he created Dental Fix Rx, a mobile dental equipment repair service franchise, which has quickly grown to more than 200 franchises. In the same year, Mortier joined Lopez’s team; his expertise has been a vital component of the brands’ franchise expansion. Along with other investors, Lopez and Mortier recently acquired a stake in Tikiz Shaved Ice & Ice Cream - a fast-growing mobile franchise - and have signed six new franchises within the past three months.
Froots is a healthy alternative to traditional fast food fare, providing a variety of great tasting options including all-natural smoothies, energy shakes, fresh-squeezed juices, sandwiches, wraps, paninis, salads, soups and more. The homegrown business has been operating in South Florida since 2001, and currently has more than 30 U.S. units as well as several international locations. A relatively low investment for a restaurant franchise, the quick-service restaurant expects to add 50 locations in the next two years. For more information, visit http://froots.com/.
Gyroville was created in 2010 to bring Mediterranean cuisine to the fast-casual market. Gyroville starts by using only the freshest ingredients and prepares them using recipes that combine old-school, Greek traditions with a modern day twist. The concept allows customers to follow their choice of protein from the grill or vertical spit through an assembly line process, where they choose from fresh ingredients and homemade sauces. The first Gyroville opened in January 2010 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Today, there are nine corporate-owned locations in South Florida. For more information, visit http://gyroville.com/.
Fishman Public Relations