Industry News | November 2, 2009

U-SWIRL Parent Appoints New Exec

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Healthy Fast Food Inc., the owner and franchisor of U-SWIRL Frozen Yogurt stores, announced that Philip deMena with Concept Consulting Inc. was appointed as the outsourced vice president of real estate. In this newly created position, deMena will be responsible for leading real estate planning and management, market research and development, and retail space acquisitions for both company-owned and franchised U-SWIRL self-serve frozen yogurt stores.

"In order to realize U-SWIRL's full growth potential, it is essential that we assemble a world class team of industry experts who have the necessary experience and know-how to get the job done right,” Hank Cartwright, chairman and CEO of Healthy Fast Food. “Adding Phil to our team represents a mission-critical achievement for our company—and one that is sure to measurably impact our national expansion effort."

With more than 30 years experience in implementing national expansion initiatives for many of the nation's largest retail and foodservice companies, deMena brings Healthy Fast Food experience in developing and executing short and long term real estate strategies that support and optimize exponential coast to coast store growth. As a founding partner of Concept Consulting Inc. and a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, he has consulted on the expansions of Baja Fresh, Dairy Queen, Quiznos, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, and ZED451.

From 1997 until 1999, deMena served as senior vice president of Home USA during a period in which the company completed an Initial Public Offering, listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and led the vertical integration of the U.S. manufactured housing industry. He also held senior executive roles for Kenny Rogers Roasters, Papa John's, and Blockbuster Entertainment. More specifically, at Papa John's he oversaw the opening of more than 700 stores in less than two years; and while at Blockbuster, he opened 1,700 video superstores in under six years. deMena began his career with British Petroleum before joining Burger Chef in the mid-1970's as National Real Estate Manager. He later joined Kentucky Fried Chicken, where he served as director of corporate development and oversaw the opening of over 300 stores during his five year tenure.

"Having had the pleasure of working closely with Phil at Blockbuster, I can attest to the fact that he is the consummate real estate professional who wrote the book on blending the art and science of market intelligence, site selection, and real estate negotiations,” says Richard Ungaro, chief operating officer of Healthy Fast Food. “His knowledge of regional and national markets and the foodservice business, coupled with his extensive network of real estate brokers and experts, makes him a powerful addition to our company's executive leadership team."