Jamba Inc. announced the sale of eight restaurants in California to Four Life Foods LLC, a company owned primarily by one of the four original co-founders of Jamba Juice, Linda Olds, and her husband Jeff Olds.
With the acquisition of these restaurants, the Olds now own and operate nine California Jamba Juice locations. Participating in the acquisition through a minority ownership position in Four Life Foods is Brett Thomas, a former district manager of the company. The sale reflects the company’s continuing progress under its strategic refranchising program that was announced May 28.
For Jeff and Linda this represents a return to their Juice Club roots in San Luis Obispo. One of the stores they will be operating is store number one—the original Juice Club store (now a Jamba Juice location) where many customers may have first experienced a Jamba smoothie like Strawberries Wild or Razzmatazz.
“We cannot express the excitement and pride we feel to be involved with our community where the Jamba journey began 20 years ago,” Linda Olds says. “Jeff and I have always had a passion for the brand and we feel it is the perfect time to further our investment with the company.”
“Linda was instrumental in building Jamba Juice into what it is today and we look forward to further leveraging her passion and experience to grow the brand,” says Thibault de Chatellus, senior vice president of global franchise and development for Jamba Juice. “The fact that Linda and Jeff are expanding their ownership with us is a testament to their belief in our strategic growth plans and the future of the company.”
This refranchising transaction builds on the sale of 19 restaurants earlier this year to existing Jamba Juice franchise owners in Arizona and Oregon.
“The purchase of these stores by Linda, Jeff, and Brett is outstanding news,” says James D. White, president and CEO of Jamba Juice. “I am thrilled about the progress we are making against our refranchising initiative and about engaging one of our most passionate original co-founders in growing with us.”
The overall refranchising initiative is expected to involve the refranchising of about 150 company-owned restaurant locations, primarily outside of California, throughout 2009 and 2010.