I Heart Mac & Cheese Signs Franchise Agreement In Montana Expanding Western Footprint
March 12, 2020 // Franchising.com // Boca Raton, Fla. - I Heart Mac & Cheese, a fast-casual concept specializing in customizable, made-to-order macaroni and cheese bowls and grilled cheese sandwiches, today announced it has signed a franchise agreement with T.R. Gonzales, Inc., led by Teresa Gonzales, who will open a Helena, Montana location this fall.
“I Heart Mac & Cheese is a fun, attractive concept and an affordable franchise model that is easy to operate, with support systems in place to help our partners be successful,” said Stephen Giordanella, I Heart Mac & Cheese CEO and Chairman. “Teresa is the perfect partner for our brand, and we are thrilled to expand our western presence as we continue to grow across the country.”
Bringing many years of restaurant and retail experience, Teresa will manage and oversee operations for the new Montana location. A resident of Helena since 2006, she previously worked as a supervisor at Costco, where she learned the principles of running a successful and low overhead business, while also developing her customer service and employee management skills. Teresa was impressed by I Heart Mac & Cheese’s proven franchise business model and was attracted to the simplicity of the concept as well as the wide age-range appeal.
“From the gluten-free ingredients to vegan options, there is literally something for everyone at I Heart Mac & Cheese,” said Gonzales. “I’m passionate about introducing a new brand to the Helena area. Our community is quickly growing with new residents and young families, and I look forward to providing a convenient and delicious dining option for all to enjoy.”
I Heart Mac & Cheese is well-known for custom, build-your-own macaroni and cheese bowls and grilled cheese sandwiches. Guests select a pasta, bread, quinoa, broccoli or cauliflower base along with seven different proteins, vegetables, and cheeses. Most recently, the brand unveiled a new vegan menu featuring plant-based options through an official partnership that was launched with Beyond Meat®. Gluten-free options are also available. Sesame ginger, mango habanero, buffalo, BBQ, and pesto are a few of the delicious dressings and sauces available to mix in or top off each creation. In addition to customized options, the menu includes specialty chef special items like Baked Chicken Parmesan, Baked Meatball Parmesan, The Cuban, Pepperoni Pizza, and Lobster & White Truffle Mac, among others. Guests can pair their meal with the perfect side of Tomato Soup and finish it with a selection of desserts such as Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies and Marshmallow Treats.
A unique franchise concept in the restaurant industry with no fryers, grease trap systems or hood systems, I Heart Mac & Cheese requires a low investment and can be opened in a small space, such as a mall kiosk or food court. Shopping malls, sports venues, areas close to colleges and universities, and high-traffic pedestrian areas are also ideal locations. With a home office in South Florida, I Heart Mac & Cheese offers franchise owner training, marketing support and ongoing development opportunities to ensure each location’s success.
This month, I Heart Mac & Cheese was selected by QSR Magazine as one of America’s hottest startup fast-casual brands on their annual 40/40 list showcasing emerging concepts with fewer than 40 locations. In 2019, I Heart Mac & Cheese was ranked by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the top new franchise opportunities. In addition to Fort Lauderdale, several other locations have recently been announced, with upcoming openings in Alabama, California, Colorado, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, New York and Texas.
For more information on I Heart Mac & Cheese visit iheartmacandcheese.com.
About I Heart Mac & Cheese
I Heart Mac & Cheese is a fast-casual concept specializing in customizable, made-to-order macaroni and cheese bowls and grilled cheese sandwiches. Also, on the menu are lifestyle choices with quinoa, broccoli or cauliflower bowls, as well as gluten-free pasta. In 2019, the brand unveiled a new vegan menu featuring plant-based options through an official partnership that was launched with Beyond Meat®. The menu combines award-winning recipes resulting in a grown-up approach to this classic childhood dish. Guests in search of an easy-to-eat treat can enjoy the brand’s newest menu item, Mac Bites, that are baked, bite-size portions perfect to eat while you are on the go in flavors like Classic, Pepperoni Pizza, Lobster and Buffalo Chicken. I Heart Mac & Cheese currently operates corporate locations in Florida at Pembroke Pines, Jupiter and Boca Raton. In 2017, the company launched its franchising program nationwide and has open and operating franchisee locations in Florida, New York, Georgia and Texas. Additional locations are slated to open in Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, New York and Texas.
SOURCE I Heart Mac & Cheese
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