Fresh City pushes southward through deal with Grimes

NEEDHAM Mass. Fresh City, a 17-unit fast-casual concept concentrated in New England, has signed an area development deal with Rob Grimes, president and chief executive of Accuvia, the technology consulting, events and publishing firm in Potomac. Md.

According to terms of the agreement, Grimes, who also is the cofounder with Nation’s Restaurant News of the International Technology Foodservice Exposition, or FS/TEC, agreed to develop at least 40 Fresh City outlets over the next 12 years in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. He has formed Capitol Fresh LLC, to open and operate Fresh City locations, and plans to appoint a vice president of operations to oversee day-to-day operations. The first unit is scheduled to open late this year or early in 2008.


Grimes said he intends to focus on developing Fresh City outlets in suburban areas, but does not rule out openings in airports or downtown locations. All expansion will be self-funded, he said.


Grimes has previous restaurant experience and was involved with such companies as That’s Amoré restaurants, which operates six full-service Italian locations in the Washington, D.C., area. Grimes, who will serve as president and chief executive of Capitol Fresh, said his new venture will not affect Accuvia.


At the same time, Larry Reinstein, the president and chief executive of Fresh Concepts LLC, the parent of Fresh City, said the company will be opening two new locations in New Jersey over the next six months and has plans to open two or three more there in 2008.

Reinstein also said the made-to-order marketplace concept is rolling out a number of new organic products, a higher quality house coffee and an espresso and pastry program. Fresh City also has been testing online ordering for catering and pickup.