JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Jan. 10, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- After years of domination by cookies, pretzels and popcorn, the snack franchise category finally has some serious new competition – gourmet fries. French Fry Heaven, the first and leader in the gourmet fry market, has catapulted its way into the marketplace with an ingenious franchise concept that transforms fries into a fun, gourmet snack that can be dressed up more than 50 ways.
French Fry Heaven was created by Scott Nelowet, a former university academic leader and president of multiple colleges, who was inspired by the popularity of French fry stands on the streets of Europe. Seeing immense opportunity in the United States, Nelowet put a spin on the idea by creating a variety of French fry toppings, proprietary cooking methods, infused sea salts and 50+ toppings that would soon have taste buds watering and entrepreneurs clamoring to get a piece of the action.
The first French Fry Heaven location was opened in October 2011 in Jacksonville, Fla. after Nelowet tested his idea at a few local Florida festivals, where he received an overwhelming response from customers, which in French Fry Heaven lingo are referred to as "Happy Souls." Hungry entrepreneurs immediately jumped on the opportunity to be part of the first and best concept in the gourmet fry category, and the first two franchise deals were signed in 2012 with a multi-unit franchisee. After seeing the great results from his first two locations, he signed on to open an additional 23 units throughout Florida and Georgia. In the first three months of officially offering franchising opportunities, French Fry Heaven sold 69 total units to more eager entrepreneurs who tasted a lucrative opportunity and will open in states including Texas, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York.
At the base of French Fry Heaven's menu are Belgian style fries, or "Angels" that are crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, and sweet potato fries, or "Saints." The fries come topped with your choice of 50-plus flavors from salty to sweet to satisfy all types of taste buds. Customers can choose from the most popular menu item – Belgian style fries topped with Garlic Parmesan with Black Truffle salt, or opt for something sweet such as the Festival, which dresses up sweet potato fries with delicious toppings that make the snack taste just like a funnel cake. The menu even offers a Cheeseburger option, which uses the Belgian style fries and tastes just like a cheeseburger without using beef or beef flavor. All the fries are cooked hot and fresh and served in a cone, traditional to how fries are served in Europe. The fries are made with zero trans-fat and cooked in gluten-free oil making them less greasy than typical French fries without sacrificing taste.
"After decades of only having cookies, pretzels and popcorn in the snack segment, French Fry Heaven is a long-awaited new alternative treat for U.S. consumers," said Scott Nelowet, CEO of French Fry Heaven and fry guru. "Nobody else does fries like we do. Our menu is 98 percent vegetarian and we have the only commercially available gluten-free sweet potato fries in the world, not to mention all of our fun, delicious toppings and flavors. French Fry Heaven has something for everyone."
In an economy where the snack segment is flourishing, French Fry Heaven started offering franchise opportunities in 2012 after immediately receiving interest from entrepreneurs and investors who had visited the first Jacksonville location. "The opportunity requires a low start-up cost and offers significant flexibility in location, product and operations, while being a blast to own and operate, Nelowet said, noting that he specifically built the brand as a franchisee focused operation. "French Fry Heaven drives traffic with superior marketing ability, following a 13-step marketing process to put the word out for each new location."
French Fry Heaven locations can be established anywhere hungry people are walking by. In fact, the concept has been known to drive additional traffic to nearby stores. Franchisees are given a level of freedom in operating their French Fry Heaven location from the uniforms to the sauces – which they can design and create on their own to give their store a local flavor. Franchisees also receive a high level of support from corporate, which uses an iPad based POS system to allow franchisees to monitor all aspects of their location from anywhere in the world.
A former Peace Corps volunteer, Nelowet has infused charitable service at the foundation of French Fry Heaven. The brand seeks out franchisees and employees who have a history of charitable or community service, or who understand the business and financial benefits of being charity-minded, which include lower turnover, lower absenteeism, lower theft, and a 3:1 ROI. To drive the idea of charitable values home, corporate requires franchisees to use 1/3 of their royalties to go directly toward funding local charitable service.
"Franchisees would have to spend that money anyway, and we think it's awesome to be able to spend it on doing positive work in their community and enhancing their reputation," said Nelowet, noting that the remaining 2/3 of franchisee royalties are split in half for corporate and local advertising – another way the brand supports each location and ensures a strong, local flavor.
The snack concept is an ideal franchise opportunity for multi-unit owners looking for a fun, upbeat way of doing business. Nelowet notes, "At French Fry Heaven, we strive to be professionally unprofessional. We're here to have fun, and the brand, franchisees and employees radiate that notion at all times."
With three locations open, 69 others in the pipeline and immediate growth plans across the United States, French Fry Heaven is serving up fries in a way that no one else does, ascertaining its role as the first and leader in the Gourmet Fry category.
"French Fry Heaven is filling a niche in the industry," Nelowet added. "It is a terminally unique brand with very little competition, and we're quickly being recognized as the best concept in the snack category."
For more information on French Fry Heaven, visit www.FrenchFryHeaven.com. To learn more about the French Fry Heaven franchise opportunity, visit www.FrenchFryHeaven.com/franchise, or call (855) 841-6379.
About French Fry Heaven
Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., French Fry Heaven was created in 2010 by Scott Nelowet and is first and leader in the "Gourmet Fry" market – home to the World's Best French Fries. The mission of French Fry Heaven is to serve the best fries on earth, be everywhere people are hungry, leave you with a smile on your face and make a significant positive impact on the world. French Fry Heaven is a snack-only franchise that serves two kinds of fries, Angles and Saints. Angels are classic fries served Belgium style and topped with a cacophony of the greatest flavors imaginable which represent the favorite flavors from around the world. Saints are delicious Sweet Potato fries served either salty, with the Angel toppings or dessert style rolled in cinnamon and brown sugar and covered with things such as caramel, vanilla or marshmallow. With proprietary cooking methods, the brand offers infused sea salts and 51+ flavors while constantly inventing new ones. A typical French Fry Heaven menu is equipped with 21 master flavors plus a few extra that are dear to the hearts of local appetites. There are three French Fry Heaven locations open and operating across the United States and 69 in the pipeline. For more information on the French Fry Heaven franchise opportunity, visit www.FrenchFryHeaven.com/franchise, or call (855) 841-6379.
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Source: French Fry Heaven