Boojum: Brothers planning to branch out after burrito chain buy-up
Belfast-born burrito chain Boojum has been sold for an undisclosed sum.
The Mexican fast food outlet, which has five stores across Ireland, has been taken over by David Maxwell and his brother Andrew, a former Ulster Rugby player.
It's understood staff were told on Thursday that the thriving concern would be taken over, but they were reassured that it would business as usual.
It was opened by former owner John Blisard, a native of Philadelphia, who had been living in Belfast since 2006.
His Boojum outlet in Botanic Avenue started operating in 2007.
New co-owner David Maxwell told the Belfast Telegraph he had fresh plans, but it remained "business as usual" for the day-to-day running
It has been a major success story, with a second of the burrito bars opening in Chichester Street in 2010.
It's grown to become Ireland's best-known Mexican fast food brand with five shops on the island, the two in Belfast, two in Dublin and one in Galway.
Popular spots for Belfast's students and workers, the two Boojum outlets are known for the long queues that can snake outside them on busy days.
Blisard and his wife Karen expanded their foodie business empire in 2012, opening a barbecue joint in the city centre
Bubbacue, in Callender Street, across from the side entrance of Marks and Spencer, offers American-style slow-cooked food.
But it's understood this business is not part of the sale.
Bringing experience of a background in restaurants in the US spanning more than a decade, David said he felt a "huge amount of synergy" with both the Boojum name and brand.
"We're excited about the brand and the excellent opportunities to expand throughout Ireland and the UK over the coming year," he said.
"I was privileged to spend 11 unbelievable years as part of my restaurant career in Arizona, where I fell in love with Mexican food and culture.
"Andrew joined me in 2008 after a successful career at Ulster Rugby.
"We both feel a huge amount of synergy with Boojum, and when the opportunity arose we felt it was right for us and our families.
Andrew said: "Boojum is synonymous with Mexican cuisine in Ireland and we are keen to bring Boojum's fantastic offerings to thousands more new customers in the very near future.