The Big Salad, a fast casual restaurant chain launched in Grosse Pointe Woods in 2008, has been acquired by North Carolina entrepreneur Brent Sheena, including all nine current locations along with intellectual property rights to support future growth. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Sheena is an investor who owns a variety of companies in the computer software, IT support, shared workspace, real estate, and fitness sectors in addition to a Jamba Juice franchise in North Carolina. Born and raised in Michigan, he was familiar with The Big Salad concept and was interested in expanding his portfolio with more health-conscious businesses.
“The appeal of The Big Salad concept is that fast, convenient food can be fresh and nutritious, allowing the customer the ability to choose and customize a salad or wrap based on their dietary needs and preferences,” says Sheena. “We are excited to grow The Big Salad brand and bring this healthy dining option to new cities and customers in the very near future.”
The entrepreneur is finalizing new locations in Owosso, York, S.C.; and Jackson, Miss., as well as a corporate store and training facility in the Carolinas this year. Other locations include the original Big Salad founded by John Bornoty in Grosse Pointe Woods, along with Ann Arbor, Detroit, Woodhaven, Traverse City, Charlotte (southwest of Lansing), and Spring, Texas. Two other stores will soon open, one in Farmington (June), and the other in Cincinnati (summer).
The foundation of the menu is a “build-your-own” concept, with 17 million possible salad and wrap combinations available from a variety of lettuces, toppings, and dressings.
Also available are signature salads, wraps, sandwiches, and soups, including a Chicken Caesar, made with rocket romaine, parmesan cheese, savory grilled chicken breast, croutons, and Caesar dressing; a Spicy Thai soup made from a blend of chicken, rice, peppers, aromatic spices, lemongrass, cabbage, shitake mushrooms, sliced chives, and rice.
There’s also the Cali Club, made with pan roasted turkey breast, avocado, hardwood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and basil aioli on a multi-grain ciabatta sub bun.
Future plans are to expand to 50 additional franchises in new markets by 2025, and Bornoty will stay on as a consultant and assist with franchise development.
The company’s headquarters were relocated to Charlotte, N.C., with a corporate office retained in Waterford Township.