Clean Eatz, a Wilmington-based restaurant that features healthy, low-calorie meals, will mark its 50th franchise location signing in Edwardsville, Illinois, on Friday, according to owners Don and Evonne Varady.
The 50th signing is particularly significant to the Varadys because their original concept, Lo-Cal Café, operated in Edwardsville from 2010 to 2012. They moved to Wilmington and opened Clean Eatz at 203 Racine Drive in early 2013.
The Varadys began franchising just 18 months ago, with the first locations opening in South Carolina, in Myrtle Beach and Charleston.
The couple corporately owns three North Carolina locations with partner Jason Nista: the flagship store at 203 Racine Drive and 5916 Carolina Beach Road just south of Monkey Junction in Wilmington and one in Jacksonville. The rest of the locations are owned and operated by independent franchisees. Nista also came on board as the company’s chief operating officer earlier this year.
There are now 21 Clean Eatz locations open on the East Coast, and the Edwardsville location will be the first Clean Eatz west of the Mississippi River. According the Varadys, it typically takes about six months from the time of signing for a new location to open. The company plans to have 40 locations open by the end of 2017, and 100 signed by the end of 2018.
“We’re currently trying to fill in markets along the Gulf Coast and improve our branding, as well as gain franchise approval from additional states,” Evonne Varady said.
Clean Eatz has just launched a new website with a focus on educating customers via Clean Eatz University, a program that offers online tutorials, podcasts and various other modules to provide information on nutrition, cooking, health and wellness.
“We want to be a restaurant that not only feeds people, but also educates them,” Evonne Varady said.
Clean Eatz has also announced that it will hold a franchise convention in the Port City in June 2018. They plan to work in conjunction with the Wilmington Convention Center and Cape Fear Community College to organize activities such as a 5K run, and fitness activities such as paddleboarding and yoga that will be open to the public as well as those attending the convention.
“We hope to bring in customers from locations outside the area and introduce them to all Wilmington has to offer,” Evonne Varady said. “We see this as a great opportunity to showcase our city and bring some additional revenue to area businesses.”
For more information on Clean Eatz and Clean Eatz University, see: http://www.cleaneatz.com
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