Two restaurants – a new-to-us coffee shop and a familiar sandwich shop – are sniffing around Fresno and the Valley looking for places to open new locations and people to run them.
It’s a Grind, which started in Long Beach, is making the Central Valley its next frontier for expansion. The company plans to open 10 to 15 locations in the Central Valley as a whole, with likely several in the Fresno area.
The coffee shop sells espresso-based drinks, along with everything from iced blended drinks topped with Oreos or butter toffee to chai tea, smoothies and hot chocolate.
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The franchise has 16 stores in Southern and Northern California and two outside the state. It’s owned by an Australian company that owns several food franchises, though It’s A Grind coffee is roasted in small batches in Southern California.
But, a reality check: You might not see an It’s A Grind here for a while – a long while.
It’s A Grind coffee shops are franchises, meaning the company needs to first find a franchisee willing to run the location and pay a $25,000 franchise fee. With help from the company, they also need to find a place to open it.
If all goes as planned, the locations would open within years, not weeks or months.
Sometimes, franchised restaurants that say they’re interested in our area never end up opening. That’s the case with The Melting Pot and sexy sports pub Tilted Kilt, who both said they wanted to open locations here years ago, but haven’t.
Sandwich shop Togo’s wants to open more restaurants in the area.
The company wants to open two or three in the Fresno area. A franchisee is already looking at locations in Hanford, Lemoore and Porterville, says Togo’s vice president of franchise sales Mike Norcup.
Togo’s already has seven sandwich shops in the central San Joaquin Valley, including two in Clovis and one each in Fresno, Madera, Dinuba, Visalia and Tulare.
Togo’s in the Fresno area do well, and the company wants to focus on the state it started in, Norcup said. Togo’s started in the San Jose area.
It may not be until 2018 before we see any new Togo’s open.