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TacoTime offers 50th anniversary items

SCOTTSDALE Ariz. To mark its 50th anniversary, the near-400-unit TacoTime chain will feature a number of limited-time offers this year, including the $1.99 Crisp Burrito Bites special available through May 11, the company said.

Miniature versions of the Scottsdale-based chain’s regular fried burrito line, the “bites” come with chipotle ranch dipping sauce and are served six pieces to an order, including two with pinto beans, two with ground beef and two with chicken.

Representatives of the chain owned by Kahala Corp. said the marketing campaign planned for the yearlong anniversary celebration includes television commercials sharing TacoTime’s heritage, which began airing Jan. 13, as well as commemorative tray liners and balloons. Local store marketing initiatives and other anniversary products and value pricing will be introduced throughout the year, they indicated, including a commemorative plastic cup for 42-ounce beverages.

Jean Smoke, marketing director for the chain with restaurants in the U.S. and Canada, said the celebration of five decades in business “is the perfect opportunity to offer our customers the value and quality they expect from TacoTime while telling the story of our rich history.”

TacoTime was founded in 1960 near the University or Oregon in Eugene, Ore., by Ron Fraedrick. In the early days, Fraedrick reportedly rolled a 55-gallon barrel full of spices around his parking lot to blend them for his signature seasonings, before later graduating to an electric cement mixer to achieve that result.

Arecap of the chain’s history and some photos from the early day are posted at its website:

Kahala Corp., which is also parent to the Cold Stone Creamery and Blimpie chains, among others, acquired TacoTime in 2003.

Contact Alan Liddle at [email protected].

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