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Parent of Saladworks acquires Garbanzo Mediterranean, Frutta Bowl chains out of bankruptcy

Centre Lane Partners forms WOWorks to hold all three chains

Centre Lane Partners, the parent of Saladworks, has acquired the Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh and Frutta Bowls fast-casual chains out of bankruptcy. Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill LLC filed for bankruptcy protection in the Eastern Court of Missouri in August. Frutta Bowls, a fast-casual fruit-bowl chain, filed for bankruptcy last year. Concurrently, WOWorks has been set up as a holding company to move Saladworks and the two newly-added chains forward into 2021 under a consolidated structure.

Health-centric branding and macro trends provide strong acquisition rationale

Providing rationale for the acquisition and strategy, Saladworks announced that the chains have common denominators that will help them succeed, leveraging specific macro trends. Frutta Bowls, Garbanzo Mediterranean, and Saladworks can tap a growing demographic of Millennials and GenZers, which account for over 60 percent of the population, according to its data. In addition the current psychographics of consumers lead to a higher premium on the value of personalization and customization.

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Furthermore, lifestyle trends along the nutritional and functional continuum will provide momentum for growth. There is also convenience, which has been a long-trending factor that is influencing how consumers relate to foodservice occasions.

Saladworks to integrate Garbanzo Mediterranean, Frutta Bowls

As the acquisition has been completed, Saladworks will help integrate the two chains so they are supported by a common infrastructure, which will also produce savings across all restaurants. Current Saladworks team members will also benefit from this new consolidation under WOWorks.

The Frutta Bowls fast-casual concept serves up superfood bowls, fresh fruit smoothies, oatmeal bowls, artisan toasts, and organic coffee. Photo by Saladworks.

“Like Saladworks, we believe Garbanzo and Frutta Bowls are complementary brands—all sharing a core DNA based upon fresh, flavorful and healthy food along with a heart for hospitality served through convenient business channels, which appeals to our Millennial family and Gen Z guests,” said Kelly Roddy, chief executive of Saladworks and WOWorks.

Centre Lane Partners has full ownership of the WOWorks venture, and its three health-centric chains, and Roddy will lead this new venture.

According to the announcement, the formation of WOWorks will help drive growth and propel Frutta Bowl’s all-natural acai, pitaya and kale bowls, along with the laffa wraps and fresh-baked pitas of Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh, onto a national stage. Saladworks is currently on a growth trajectory, itself, after adding 40 units in 2020.

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Roddy indicated the Saladworks team will take point on leading the operations of the new company and providing the necessary resources. Moreover, the WOWorks company has retained James Park, current Garbanzo Mediterranean chief executive, as a special advisor to Roddy.

Photo credit: Saladworks (featured preview image)

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