Jamal Haddad, founder of Peño Mediterranean Grill, has announced that he and his team have signed their first franchise location to a couple in Charleston, South Carolina.
The agreement came less than a month after the company’s announcement of franchise opportunities.
“I am so thrilled to announce that we will be entering the Charleston market,” Haddad said. “With the extensive research that we have done, we believe that the Charleston market is a great fit for us and our unique menu.”
Co-owner Rocco Quaranto added that Charleston is an ideal market because there are few Mediterranean restaurants in the area.
Peño Grill is a fast casual Mediterranean concept that has operated two locations in Wilmington for the past several years under the name Baba Ghannouj Mediterranean Bistro.
About a year ago, Haddad partnered with Quaranto and Wells Strubble, co-owners of Tama Tea, another locally born franchise. According to Quaranto, he and Strubble were loyal customers who developed a relationship with Haddad and encouraged him to think about the possibility of developing a franchise.
As for Tama Tea, which is owned by Quaranto and Wells and Kelly Strubble, Quaranto said that there are plans for two corporately owned stores to open this spring; one in downtown Raleigh on Fayetteville Street and one in Chapel Hill on Franklin Street.
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