Industry News | January 13, 2013

Chop't Receives Investment from Morehead Capital

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Chop’t Creative Salad Company, the creator and leader of the premium salad segment, announced a recapitalization and capital investment by Morehead Capital, a premier  restaurant-focused investment firm.

The investment, made from Morehead Opportunity Fund, will facilitate Chop’t’s expansion throughout the mid-Atlantic and to new geographic regions. Specific terms of the transaction are undisclosed.

“It is critical to us that all of our partners understand the depth of our values and share our philosophy that Better Tastes Better, which speaks to the quality of our ingredients and recipes,” says Colin McCabe, who founded Chop’t with Tony Shure. “We developed a relationship with the team from Morehead over a long period of time, and we know we have partnered with a group that shares our vision.”

Morehead Capital managing partner Quinton Maynard adds, “We feel privileged to be working with the passionate and talented team at Chop’t. Chop’t is a very promising and meaningful concept on every front, and we believe they represent the future of fast food. We are thrilled to be a part of that.”

With the philosophy of “Better Tastes Better,” McCabe and Shure established Chop’t in 2001. Now with 19 locations across the New York and Washington, D.C., metropolitan areas, the founders remain dedicated to shaping the future of fast food by offering healthy, crave-able salads emphasizing premium artisanal ingredients from around the world and “Super Seasonal” creations featuring local produce at peak freshness.

The company takes great care in selecting its ingredients, which include FreeBird naturally and humanely raised chicken, heirloom lettuces, and farm-fresh vegetables.

“We are proud of the continuous improvement we have provided for Chop’t’s guests,” Shure says. “We have always believed that salad could stand on its own as a full ‘concept,’ and we remain thoroughly committed to pushing the boundaries of salad with new and creative combinations.”

In 2005, Nick Marsh of GrowthPoint Restaurants provided the company’s initial investment; he was named Chop’t’s CEO in 2011. With the Morehead Capital investment, Marsh, Shure, and McCabe will continue to lead Chop’t, leveraging the significant financial and strategic resources created by the partnership.

“When GrowthPoint Restaurants initially invested, Chop’t had only two restaurants,” Marsh says. “It was our goal at that time to establish the brand for consumers and to build a solid foundation from which to accelerate growth.

“This partnership represents an important milestone in that effort,” he says. “With Morehead’s resources, long heritage in the restaurant space, and passion for growing innovative concepts, we now have a partner that will help us reach our full potential.”

Chop’t was named to the Inc. 5000 list in 2010, and was recognized as Best Salad in 2009 and 2010 by the readers of Washington City Paper

Chop’t’s cofounders were identified as Crain’s New York Business Top Entrepreneurs in 2012.

Chop’t is actively involved in local philanthropic efforts. With the company’s 2013 “Chop’t Gives” initiative, McCabe and Shure continue the company’s tradition of generosity and community support.

As an inaugural partner of Wellness in the Schools, an organization devoted to improving nutrition in New York City public schools, the Chop’t team donates equipment, food, and recipes to area schools. The founders also frequently visit classrooms to help inspire healthy lifestyles and discuss careers in the culinary industry.