What's Next for Modern Market Now That the Chain Has Merged with Lemonade?

At the end of last month, the fast casual chain Modern Market merged with Lemonade, a healthy fast casual concept based in L.A.

Although the farm-to-table eatery has teamed up with a fellow fast casual chain, this doesn't mean Modern Market will be closing up shop.

According to Anthony Pigliacampo, Modern Market co-founder, the chain, along with Lemonade will both remain separate identities.

The Modern Market team has lofty goals of expanding and merging with Lemonade is one of the ways they plan to achieve them.

So far, there are 30 Modern Market stores. In 2017, the restaurant's revenue spiked by 27 percent. Then in 2018, five new stores opened and the chain has plans to open three more locations in Colorado this year.

But to expand it takes capital.

About a year ago, the private equity firm Butterfly Equity acquired a majority share of Modern Market.

"We talked to many private equity groups, and we got on well with the team at Butterfly. Their philosophy was like ours. They saw that food was being disrupted. We believed that in restaurants, someone was going to rise and become the best brand and help bring a higher quality food to the masses. And Butterfly had the same world view," said Pigliacampo to "Forbes."

But a year later, Modern Market made the strategic decision to merge with Lemonade.

"With Butterfly’s owning both brands, we realized if we were working together there’s a ton of efficiencies to be gained that would allow us to run certain back-end functions more efficiently. We could provide better resources to solve problems. For example, financing and accounting of two restaurant chains that provide scratch-based menu with many small vendors is a very complicated accounting issue," said Pigliacampo to "Forbes."

What else is to come for the Colorado-based eatery? Read the full interview with Pigliacampo at "Forbes" now.

We have been following Modern Market's growth since the beginning. Pigliacampo was one of the stars of Foodable Network's documentary "Fast Casual Nation: Changing the Way America Eats."

Besides building a loyal customer-base with healthy-focused dishes, Modern Market has been ahead of the curve when it comes to incorporating technology. Check out the blast from the past video below where Pigliacampo outlines how technology enhances the chain's operations.

Why the Cannabis Edible Market is Expected to Boom in Canada

We recently reported that the edible sector in the cannabis market is expected to hit $ 4.1 billion by 2022 in both Canada and the U.S. according to recent report by Arcview Market Research.

This significant growth is partially attributed to Canada rolling out legalized cannabis earlier this week.

However, the cannabis industry is a heavily regulated industry and in the U.S. and this presents some challenges. Even in the U.S. states where cannabis is legal, the regulations differ from state to state.

So popular products like Nancy Whiteman’s cannabis caramels can be sold in Oregon but can't be sold in Colorado because they are too buttery to hold the imprint of the THC symbol.

With that in mind, Whiteman's Colorado-based cannabis company is focusing on different markets when it comes to some of its edible products.

"Nancy Whiteman’s business is exploding. Wana Brands, based in Boulder, has zoomed from approximately $100,000 (U.S.) in sales in its first year in 2010, to more than $14 million last year," writes "The Star." "Wana — “Wana enhance your life?” — is pushing toward control of a quarter share of Colorado’s edibles market while keeping an eye on developments in other states and, enticingly, Canada."

Whiteman, along with other U.S. cannabis businesses , is looking into partnering with Canada companies to get into the soon to be exploding market.

“We have talked with many LPs (licensed producers) in Canada and are still making a decision on partners, but fully intend to be in Canada once edibles are legal," said Whiteman.

But there are still regulatory hurdles to overcome in the edible market.

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board announced earlier this month that cannabis-infused products that could be accidentally ingested by children like candies and lollipops will no longer be allowed to be sold.

Does this mean that Canada and other U.S. states will soon implement similar rules?

Consumers spend the most on the candy cannabis subcategory in Colorado, followed by chocolate at a close second.

Learn more at "The Star."

As the cannabis industry booms, CBD the legal non-psychoactive compound found in the marijuana plant is also on the rise. CBD-infusions are now being served in cities across the country. Listen to this recent episode of The Barron Report below to learn how CBD is making an impact in the foodservice industry.

Anheuser Busch-Heir Launches Cannabis Brand

Anheuser Busch-Heir Launches Cannabis Brand

The great-great-grandson of the founder of Anheuser Busch, Adolphus A. Busch launched ABV Cannabis earlier this month.

The 27-year-old created the company to provide "clean, consistent, quality and affordable cannabis products that appeal to consumers from every walk of life," according to a recent press release.

Some of the products in ABV Cannabis' portfolio include various vaporizer pens, with environment-friendly cannabis oil. The pens are available in about two dozen stores in Colorado.

Busch sees a lot of potential in the cannabis industry due to the health benefits the hemp plant provides.

"Growing up I always knew I wanted to work in the family business, creating quality and affordable products that appealed to a variety of consumers," said Adolphus Busch V, founder of ABV Cannabis Co in a press release. "However, once I saw all the incredible benefits that cannabis could bring to people and the immense opportunity presented by the cannabis industry, I knew I could take all I learned from my pioneering family heritage and create a new legacy for myself in the cannabis space."

Prior to starting the cannabis brand, Busch worked at Keef Cola that has a line of cannabis-infused soda.

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Will Denver Remain the Fast Casual Capital of the World?

Will Denver Remain the Fast Casual Capital of the World?

Denver, Colorado is where many of today's most popular fast casual concepts got their start. 

Chipotle opened its first burrito shop in Denver in 1993.  However, the fast casual that started it all, is officially moving its headquarters to Newport Beach, CA and will be closing its home-based office in Denver.

"In order to align the structure around our strategic priorities, we are transforming our culture and building world-class teams to revitalize the brand and enable our long-term success," said Brian Niccol, chief executive officer at Chipotle in a recent press release. "We'll always be proud of our Denver roots where we opened our first restaurant 25 years ago. The consolidation of offices and the move to California will help us drive sustainable growth while continuing to position us well in the competition for top talent."

Chipotle will be transitioning both its Denver and New York offices to the new Newport Beach, CA office and to its existing office in Columbus, OH over the next six months. 

400 of its employees in Denver and New York will either be relocated or offered retention packages. 

But Chipotle isn't the only Denver-founded fast casual to make a recent headquarter move either. 

Another pioneering fast casual chain, Qdoba, which was founded also in the city in 1995 and was acquired by Jack in the Box in 2003, moved its headquarters to San Diego in 2017. 

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Marlin Network launches Foodservice Professional Panel

Marlin Network launches Foodservice Professional Panel

This foodservice marketing agency is putting together a restaurant operator panel and is looking for professionals just like you to become influencers in the industry!

Marlin Network is an agency that has been in business for over 30 years and is on a mission to engage consumers in better experiences away from home.

Currently, the agency is looking for input from operators, owners, chefs, and managers across all segments of commercial restaurants. Marlin Network wants the opinion of those people in the industry who are considered key decision makers, or the people purchasing product for their place of business.

This is an interesting opportunity for industry professionals who qualify, where they will be rewarded for voicing their thoughts on products anonymously. The company will never sell the participant’s information or market to them. Marlin Network’s goal is to better the foodservice industry and incorporate the opinions of real food industry professionals into their projects.

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