Camille’s to open units in Wal-Marts

TULSA Okla. Beautiful Brands International, parent company of the 110-unit Camille’s Sidewalk Cafe fast-casual brand, announced an agreement today to open franchised stores within Wal-Mart Supercenters.

“This is an exciting opportunity we have with Wal-Mart,” said David Rutkauskas, president and chief executive of BBI, which is based here. “Having the ability to franchise Camille’s inside America’s favorite store is a big advantage for us and any franchisee. The greatest benefit is Wal-Mart’s draw of millions of people each year. Foot traffic is no longer a concern ... neither are hungry customers.”

Rutkauskas said the first Camille’s is expected to open within the year at a Wal-Mart Supercenter in Austin, Texas. Wal-Mart is based in Bentonville, Ark.

“It’s a business opportunity of a lifetime,” Rutkauskas said. “Having a business relationship with the world’s leading retailer gives us the opportunity to reach more people with our unique menu while broadening our footprint nationwide in some of America’s best communities. We are excited about being able to bring Camille’s quality food and premier restaurant brand to Wal-Mart shoppers.”

Rutkauskas and his wife, Camille, opened the first Sidewalk Cafe in Tulsa in 1996. The chain has expanded across the United States and last year opened its first store in Puerto Rico.

BBI also owns and franchises the Coney Beach and FreshBerry Frozen Yogurt concepts.