TULSA, Okla - August 17, 2016 - (BUSINESS WIRE) - Crushed Red Urban Bake and Chop Shop is pleased to announce it has signed a franchise development agreement to open a minimum of 20 locations in four states. The deal brings on Crushed Red’s first Area Representatives who will open locations in Oklahoma, Northern Texas, Kansas and Arkansas. The first of 20 locations is expected to open in spring 2017 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The new Crushed Red restaurants will be opened by an investor group comprised of professionals in the real estate, finance, franchising, and restaurant industries led by Sean Kouplen, local entrepreneur and Chairman and CEO of Regent Bank. The investors originally visited the concept known for chopped salads and artisan crafted pizzas while in St. Louis for business. With an immediate love for the food and atmosphere, they were intrigued with the possibility of introducing it to their home market of Tulsa, Oklahoma. After getting to know the co-founders, Chris LaRocca and Powell Kalish, and learning about the operations of the company, the group became interested in becoming Area Representatives.
“Crushed Red is wildly popular in St. Louis and we believe it has the potential to be a national brand. Chris and Powell have great experience on the restaurant operations side and their attention to detail is incredible,” said Kouplen. “We fell in love with the uniqueness of the concept, and the food and branding are truly outstanding. We believe it has great potential to have an outstanding lunch and dinner crowd. It is healthy, fresh, and local with a high-end feel at a very reasonable price point.”
The signed Area Representative agreement gives the franchise group the ability to sell and support Crushed Red locations in four states. Between opening locations themselves and finding the right franchise partners in Arkansas, Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma, the group anticipates having at least 20 stores open by 2020. The initial focus after opening in Tulsa will include major markets such as Dallas, Oklahoma City and Kansas City.
“This franchise agreement marks a significant milestone for Crushed Red as we expand the brand and become a national fast casual player,” said LaRocca, “We are carving out our own distinctive niche in the fast-casual space that we have dubbed ‘Artisan Fast,’ serving up true artisan flavors – fast – in a welcoming and comfortable environment. With this new deal, hundreds of thousands of new guests will get to enjoy our chopped salads and artisan crafted pizzas.”
Residents of these four states will come to expect a variety of artisan-crafted salads and pizzas as well as the option to customize their own salads and pizzas from a myriad of fresh ingredients. Each salad is chopped-to-order while you wait in line, prepared using a mosaic of colorful ingredients, and organically dressed. The pizzas are built on the foundation of a whole-grain crust that was developed by Mike Marino, the former national director of baking operations for Panera Bread. The dough is stretched by hand, topped with an organic tomato sauce, baked in Crushed Red’s proprietary, double-stacked ovens, and served up piping hot in just 90 seconds. Crushed Red also serves all-natural soups, savory appetizers, wine and beer.
For more information about Crushed Red, visit www.crushed-red.com.
Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Crushed Red is carving out a distinct niche in the fast casual restaurant segment dubbed “Artisan Fast.” Founded in 2012 by award-winning restaurateur Chris LaRocca and commercial real estate expert Powell Kalish, Crushed Red began franchising in 2014 and serves up chopped-to-order salads, artisan-crafted whole-grain pizzas, all-natural soups and savory appetizers in an elevated fast casual atmosphere. For more information about Crushed Red, including franchise opportunities, visit www.crushed-red.com.
SOURCE Crushed Red Urban Bake & Chop Shop