East Hampton Sandwich Co. has received a growth investment from the Dallas-based private equity firm CIC Partners, the companies said on Monday.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. East Hampton is a five-year-old, fast-casual sandwich chain based in Dallas with eight locations and two more to be opened in Houston.
The company hopes that the investment from CIC will help provide it with the funds and expertise to help it grow in Texas and beyond.
“I am thrilled to have the support of an experienced and like-minded partner in CIC to help continue the growth of East Hampton,” CEO and founder Hunter Pond said in a statement. “Our model is so unique for this sector that we had to choose an equity partner carefully, one that carried a depth of experience and consisted of industry veterans to help guide us toward national expansion.”
East Hampton was a Nation’s Restaurant News Breakout Brand earlier this year. The company outsources its bread baking, opting to use its kitchen space on the ingredients that goes inside the bread.
Pond was 25 years old and had no restaurant experience when he started the chain in Dallas in 2012, envisioning a concept that served high-quality sandwiches, similar to The Cheesecake Factory, but in a fast-casual setting. The company developed a menu of items like a Balsamic Tenderloin sandwich and Lobster Grilled Cheese.
“I wanted to have that upscale, American-grill quality sandwich in a fast-casual atmosphere,” Pond said in an interview with NRN earlier this year.
East Hampton is expected to expand into Houston this year and next year, and will focus on Texas in the near term. The company’s board will include Pond, Kyle Brooks, and CIC Partner Fouad Bashour.
“East Hampton has clearly done a great job tapping into what consumers want today, and we look forward to supporting the significant expansion that lies ahead,” Bashour said in a statement.
CIC is a middle-market private equity firm that invests in growth-oriented companies, some of which are restaurants. Current restaurant investments include Granite City Food & Brewery, Willie’s Grill & Icehouse, the cookie delivery company Tiff’s Treats, and Atlanta-based Taco Mac.
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