When Deb Lutz left her corporate job marketing consumer-packaged goods after 22 years, she was just looking for something she could call her own.
And for a way to give her daughter, who suffers from Prader-Willi syndrome — a rare genetic disorder causing an insatiable appetite and chronic overeating — a healthy place to eat out.
That she stumbled upon the farm-to-table restaurant concept that was about to explode onto the scene was just a bit of business luck.
Now she’s a franchisee of b.good — a fast-food concept that’s built entirely around farm-fresh products — at the Promenade at Sagemore on Route 73 in Marlton. She believes in the concept so much that she obtained the rights to all future franchises in New Jersey and the Philadelphia area.
“I wanted to get into something where I would own it, make the decisions, deliver a great experience and, at the end of the day, be closer to the customer,” Lutz said.
Her desire to get into the restaurant business brought her to the International Franchise Convention in New York City in June 2013. There, she met Anthony Ackil and Jon Olinto, two lifelong friends who created the 11-year-old Boston-based restaurant franchise b.good, and she knew she had to get involved.
B.good’s motto is, “Food made by people, not factories.”
Each restaurant provides a healthy, lean, minimally processed menu of burgers, sandwiches and kale and quinoa bowls, plus salads, smoothies and shakes that are locally sourced and seasonally inspired. Ninety-five percent of the menu is gluten-free, with plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, and all of the toppings, sauces and dressings are all natural and homemade.
B.good in Marlton, for example, will source its beef from Roseda Farm in Monkton, Md., its dairy from Trickling Springs Creamery in Chambersburg, Pa., and its produce from Bill’s Blueberry Farm in Hamilton, Marolda Farms in Vineland and D. Spina & Sons in Salem, to name a few.
“At any point in time we’re sourcing from a minimum of six farms in New Jersey for the season,” Lutz said.
Over the next five years, Lutz has already committed to opening at least four b.good locations throughout New Jersey and in the Philadelphia area.