Burgerville, a nearly 40-unit burger chain in the Pacific Northwest, announced that it will sell a portion of itself to a local group of investors.

The new ownership entity includes CEO Ed Casey and former Dutch Bros CEO Joth Ricci, who will become executive chairman. Burgerville did not reveal how big of a stake the investor group will hold. The Mears family, founders of the brand, will remain stakeholders.

The partnership is part of a planned multi-year growth strategy for the burger company. Casey and the rest of the management team will stay in their roles.

“Burgerville’s mission has always been to serve our local communities with love, and in recent years, our strategy has been to prepare to grow across the Northwest,” Casey said in a statement. “To do that, the Mears family and I wanted to team up with local partners who share our values and vision for Burgerville – and that’s just what we found.” 

Burgerville oversees 39 corporate units in Oregon and Washington, with No. 40 set for Wilsonville, Oregon, later in 2024. This will be the company’s first new store in eight years, according to Oregon Live. In the coming year, the brand hopes to open stores in Salem and Keizer, Oregon, followed by expansion north and east of its unit in Centralia, Washington. Burgerville said it has 6–10 locations planned for the Pacific Northwest over the next year.

Casey told Oregon Live that Burgerville could reach 10 new openings per year and have 100 restaurants systemwide within five years. He also doesn’t believe any existing units will close.

Ricci will play a major role in that growth. He served as Dutch Bros chief executive from January 2019 to December 2023, leading the brand through a successful IPO and to more than 800 locations systemwide, making it the third-largest beverage chain in America.

“Burgerville was a pioneer in sustainability and local long before those were industry buzzwords,” Ricci said in a statement. “I’m excited to be able to play a role in the next leg of the Burgerville journey.”

Casey, who joined Burgerville in January 2022, said the company’s expansion strategy comes after years of operational adjustments and increased sales. He attributed the improvement to the brand’s commitment to quality and local producers. The chain is projected to build sales again in 2024.

“The new investor group has deep ties to the Pacific Northwest and is committed to Burgerville’s mission of sustainability and premium quality,” Casey said. “Their commitment to the company and its values will ensure that Burgerville will remain the local, community-focused favorite that it’s always been.” 

Burgers, Fast Food, Finance, Growth, Story, Burgerville