I Heart Mac & Cheese announced it has signed a franchise agreement with Walter and Brandie Taylor, who will open an Augusta, Georgia, location in spring 2020.
“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,” says Stephen Giordanella, I Heart Mac & Cheese chief executive officer and chairman. “We are thrilled to bring our popular concept into Augusta to expand our presence throughout the state of Georgia. At this time, we will also introduce our new vegan menu with more choices for varying ages, lifestyles and cravings.”
Husband and wife entrepreneurs Walter and Brandie Taylor will manage and oversee operations for the brand’s newest location. The Taylors, who met in the military, are both U.S. Army veterans who served five years in Iraq and Afghanistan with the 101st Airborne Division. Following their tours, they were honorably discharged in 2009, got married, received degrees and started a family in the Augusta area. With an educational background focused on entrepreneurship, Brandie always knew she wanted to own a franchise and created business plans in college. Brandie first encountered I Heart Mac & Cheese when her cousin saw a story about the brand expanding into Port Arthur, Texas and knew that an opportunity that featured childhood favorites was a venture they wanted to explore.
“It has been a lifelong dream of ours to open a franchise concept. We’re excited to bring I Heart Mac & Cheese to Augusta to help add to the increasing demand for fast-casual restaurants in the area,” says Taylor. “We have two young sons – ages 6 and 8, and mac and cheese as well as grilled cheese has always been at the center of our table. We can’t wait to showcase this unique concept to our guests next year.”
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.
Earlier this year, I Heart Mac & Cheese was ranked by Entrepreneur magazine as one of the top new franchise opportunities in 2019. Several other locations have recently been announced, with upcoming openings in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, New York and Texas.