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"I've been involved in franchising in one way or another since the late 1970's," said Ken Gordon, president of FranBiz (www.franbiz.com) and area representative for Saladworks. "I was looking for stability, a company with history, make that, an unblemished history. That's what I found at Saladworks. It's a regional concept that I'd like to see go global. It certainly has the legs to do it."
The quick casual salad concept was founded in Cherry Hill, NJ, in 1986. Mall management didn't think a salad-only eatery would succeed, but succeed they did, taking in $57 million in sales for 2007. Along the way, the chain added Panini & sandwiches, plus original recipe soups. Right now, Saladworks' strength lies in the Northeast, where a majority of the 87 franchised units are located, but the company has made a sizable impact outside its core market. Entrepreneur Magazine voted Saladworks the #1 salad franchise in the country (2007). Now, the nationally-recognized franchise is looking at this deal as a way to make an even bigger name for itself.
"We know this deal is about more than just finding franchises," said John Scardapane, CEO of Saladworks. "It's about protecting, improving and growing the system and we believe Ken will do just that with these 30 new stores. That's why we chose him to be Saladworks' area representative. He'll make sure franchisees fit into our model and share our core values. Plus, we get to tap into his expertise, which will benefit the whole system."
Gordon's long history in franchising began in 1979 after meeting the founder of the non-franchised Mail Boxes Etc., which became The UPS store. He joined the company, crafted the first area developer agreement, and helped grow the "post office alternative" from just 1 unit to one of the most recognizable business brands in the nation. In fact, Gordon facilitated the conversion of Mail Boxes Etc stores to UPS stores throughout Florida. Along the way, Gordon founded FranBiz in 1990, as a franchise development and business consultant company and performed such services as site selection and lease negotiations for franchise systems. To this day, FranBiz still owns, operates and supports one of the world's largest MBE (now UPS stores) area development deals with over 250 stores in Florida. As the past president of the Florida Franchise Association, the state's business community is well aware of Gordon's involvement and success in the franchising industry. With Saladworks becoming the fifth major company Gordon has signed on with to help expand, the goal is to see that success span into the world of salads.
Gordon expects to have a location and franchisee picked out for his first Saladworks store in Tampa, Florida very soon, and will add five more locations in 2008, with the remaining 24 Saladworks stores to open over the following three years.