The founder of an organic quick-service restaurant has entered into a $65 million deal with green building developer 1 Smart Duck Management Group to build 182 restaurants using the 1 Odd Duck iBuilding concept, saying it is only logical to move forward with his health food franchise plans using earth-friendly facilities.
“I want healthy buildings for the planet,” says James M. Sleighter, president of Tampa, Florida–based Health Food Hut, Inc. “What’s the sense of starting a healthy quick-serve chain if your restaurants are polluting the earth?”
(For background on the environmentally friendly, technology-based, media-driven iBuilding, see “New Green Building Concept Moves Forward.”)
“The iBuildings will be specifically customized to be built, owned, and operated by the Health Food Hut and their franchisees, while 1 Smart Duck will handle the design, construction, and building management functions,” Howard Cannon, CEO of 1 Smart Duck, says.
Three Health Food Huts are slated to open before 2009. “We’re pushing to open three. There is a lot of interest in Daytona, Florida, so we’ll be opening one there, and we have two builders interested in Denver and Las Vegas,” Sleighter says.
It was about a year ago that Sleighter discussed his concept launch plans with Cannon, adding that the iBuilding concept is “totally amazing.” 1 Smart Duck will be assisting with financing, and he is confident that 1 Smart Duck will help take his chain forward.
“We are very excited about this relationship with this wonderful restaurant venue in conjunction with our 1 Odd Duck iBuildings,” says Robert Coppock, COO for 1 Smart Duck. “[Sleighter] has a wonderful concept, menu, and franchisee momentum, and we see a fruitful relationship between our two firms for many years to come.
The first 1 Odd Duck iBuilding was slated for a spring 2008 construction in the Boulder-Denver, Colorado, area. Developers plan to use this building to demonstrate its features to entice potential licensees and ultimately sell area “development rights to territories across the United States and abroad to franchisees seeking to operate cutting edge quick-serve restaurants.”