Industry News | July 16, 2008

Organic To Go Continues Metro D.C. Expansion

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Organic To Go, the nation’s first fast casual café chain to be certified as an organic retailer, today announced it is continuing its expansion into the Metro Washington, D.C., market with the acquisition of the Marvelous Market café at 4832 Bethesda Avenue in Bethesda, Maryland. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed. Marvelous Market continues to operate nine additional cafés in Washington, D.C., and Virginia, under the Marvelous Market brand which were not included in this transaction.

The acquired café is located on Bethesda Row, a popular restaurant and shopping destination in the central business district of the city. The location marks Organic To Go’s fifth café in metro Washington, D.C. The Company had previously acquired four cafés and a catering business operating under the name of High Noon from Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market in June. Similar to the High Noon acquisition, the Company intends to promptly rebrand the Bethesda café under its namesake Organic To Go banner.

Says Jason R. Brown, chairman and CEO, “For over 10 years this location has been synonymous with gourmet grab-and-go convenience food retailing, and has garnered a great deal of positive media attention from both local and national outlets for its high quality, artisan foods, and efforts on behalf of the communities it serves. We intend to build on that well-established tradition as we integrate the Bethesda café acquisition into our growing Washington, D.C., presence. Bethesda Row, known for its mixed-use, walkable shopping and restaurant district, has become so successful that it actually draws people from the surrounding county and the capital itself. We view this prime retail location, including its strong catering business, as an attractive billboard location to build further awareness of the Organic To Go brand in an exciting, underpenetrated market.”

“Our strategy for expansion into new geographic areas is predicated on making one or more accretive acquisitions, to be followed subsequently by organic growth within the surrounding area in order to take full advantage of operational scalability. This ‘hub and spoke’ model (commissary kitchen the ‘hub’ and cafés/delivery/wholesale locations the ‘spokes’), which has worked so successfully for our West Coast operations, is being replicated in metropolitan D.C. and will enable us to leverage our growing footprint around the nation’s capital as we continue evaluating opportunities across the East Coast,” Brown says.