Salad chain Freshly Chopped to open six outlets in Northern Ireland creating 150 jobs
Healthy fast food chain Freshly Chopped has launched a tie-in with Northern Ireland catering and outsourcing giant Mount Charles to open up to six outlets, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal.
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And the opening of six Freshly Chopped in Northern Ireland and Co Donegal is set to create around 150 new jobs.
The first will open on what had been the ground floor of Belfast bar The Apartment at Donegall Square West in August - a move first revealed in the Belfast Telegraph earlier this year.
The deal involves Mount Charles and salad specialist Freshly Chopped entering into an area development contract to roll out the chain.
There are already around 46 Freshly Chopped in the Republic, and there are also Freshly Chopped concessions at Maxol stations in Northern Ireland.
It's a new development in the business of Mount Charles, which has five of its own Fed and Watered coffee shops and restaurant George's of the Market at St George's Market in Belfast.
The business announced turnover of £30m in its latest accounts. Gavin Annon, head of sales and marketing at Mount Charles, said: "We are delighted to announce this exclusive partnership with Freshly Chopped.
"As a family-owned business with deep roots in the communities we serve, we always listen to what our customers want and continue to deliver innovative experiences. Today's customer is focused on service and provenance, and Freshly Chopped, like ourselves, is an indigenous food company that uses the highest quality and freshest produce available."
The first Freshly Chopped will be near the location of an opening by rival chain Freshii. However, Freshii closed down after just a few months in business.
Brian Lee, co-founder and chief executive of Freshly Chopped, said: "When we founded Freshly Chopped six years ago, our mission was to make it as easy as possible for people to eat healthily. This partnership will help us to continue our journey of bringing healthy fast food to more people across Ireland.
"We're confident that we have the perfect partner with Mount Charles, a company which takes a family-run and personal approach to its business.
"We're looking forward to a successful roll out here in Northern Ireland and Donegal, which will be vital locations for Freshly Chopped's expansion over the next number of years as we continue our journey."