Florida mac and cheese chain I Heart Mac & Cheese is entering the New Jersey landscape.
Franchisee Vikram Bir, who also owns two 7-11 franchises in Hamburg and Sparta, inked a deal for two locations in Jersey City and Hoboken.
I Heart Mac & Cheese offers custom, build-your-own macaroni and cheese bowls with bases like quinoa, broccoli, cauliflower and gluten-free pasta with seven different proteins, vegetables and cheeses. Vegan options are available, and sesame ginger, mango habanero, buffalo, BBQ and pesto sauces can be mixed in.
“What attracted me, it’s the concept. Mac and cheese is one of the favorite foods of America,” Bir said. But, it’s the support system offered that drew him to dive deeper into franchising.
“Being a franchise owner, the big corporations are helping hands for you,” Bir said.
His Hamburg 7-11 opened three years ago, and his Sparta location opened this summer.
Since I Heart Mac & Cheese locations do not need fryers, grease trap systems or hood systems, they require less investment and smaller spaces than restaurant concepts that necessitate them. Ideal locations include shopping malls, sports venues, areas close to colleges and universities, and high-traffic pedestrian areas.
Bir is still seeking physical locations. He aims to open the Hoboken location in 2020, and Jersey City in 2021.