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New franchisees Alex Blair and Scott Keeney will each open a minimum of one Freshii unit in Chicago. Grossman’s master franchise agreement calls for a total of 80 Freshii restaurants to eventually open in Chicago. Grossman, a former real estate executive with both General Growth Properties and Subway Corporation, opened his own locations at Water Tower Place on N. Michigan Avenue and his second Freshii in an Equinox Fitness Club in Downtown Chicago. The Freshii chain is also headquarted in Chicago, with a corporate location at 311 S. Wacker in Chicago’s Loop.
Scott Keeney, Grossman’s first sub-franchisee, is a senior commercial real estate executive based in Chicago with 30 years of experience. Keeney has 20 years experience with shopping mall leasing, and has been responsible for more than 3,000 leases covering over 8 million square feet of space. Keeney is a 25-year veteran of General Growth Properties, and had direct P&L responsibility of approximately $300 million in annual operating income, overseeing dozens of malls worth billions of dollars. Keeney is a senior certified leasing specialist as designated by the International Council of Shopping Centers.
“I read with great interest the profile of David Grossman in Shopping Centers Today Magazine, regarding David’s career move to be a Chicago master franchisee for Freshii,” Keeney says. “I’ve known and worked with David for over 13 years. He is one of the most knowledgeable people in our industry about shopping center food concepts. I knew if David was signing up for Freshii, it had to be good.”
New franchisee Alex Blair, 22, is Chicago’s top ranked Personal Trainer with Equinox Fitness. Blair was first introduced to the concept at Grossman’s Freshii unit located inside the Equinox Fitness location. Blair also has experience working in corporate marketing for Abercrombie & Fitch.
“I heard so much buzz about how healthy and delicious Freshii was, it was hard to keep me away from the restaurant that hooked all my peers,” Blair says. “The first time I walked into Freshii, the line was out the door and around the corner. The hip, clean, and classically fresh concept was intoxicating. All I could think about was owning my own Freshii. With the sensible start-up costs to open Freshii, I will be able to develop several stores instead of putting all my eggs into one location.”
Grossman plans to open eight new Freshii restaurants in Chicago in 2010, including six franchised units and two additional corporate units.
“My level of confidence in the Chicago market for Freshii continues to grow,” says Freshii founder and CEO Matthew Corrin. “David Grossman has demonstrated his ability to operate very high volume and successful stores in Chicago. In doing such, he is building the Freshii brand to a high level and attracting exciting partners who will continue to rollout our aggressive expansion plans for Freshii.”