Hargett Hunter Invests in Original ChopShop Co.

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA – (BUSINESS WIRE)–Hargett Hunter Capital Partners (“Hargett Hunter”), a North Carolina-based private investment firm focused exclusively on the hospitality industry, is pleased to announce that it has acquired a majority stake in Original ChopShop Co. (“ChopShop”) of Scottsdale, Arizona. Financial terms of the investment were not disclosed.

Founded in 2013, ChopShop is an emerging healthy fast casual restaurant concept serving fresh and organic bowls, salads, sandwiches and juice. ChopShop currently operates three units around the greater Phoenix area and was named the 2014 Emerging Restaurant of the Year by the Arizona Restaurant Association. ChopShop co-founder, Ryan Jocque, will continue to lead the company’s brand positioning and the development of future locations in the Phoenix area.

“Because of Hargett Hunter’s deep experience in the restaurant industry, they know and understand our customer and our business,” said Jocque. “We believe that under their leadership, ChopShop can quadruple its number of locations in the next three years. Hargett Hunter was by far the most collaborative group that we encountered during our process of seeking the perfect future partner.”

Jeff Brock, Managing Partner at Hargett Hunter Capital Partners, said, “We have built a relationship with ChopShop for more than a year and are excited about the opportunity to invest in such a special brand. Ryan Jocque, Caitlin Jocque, Chad Landau, and Brooks Holcomb have built a unique brand, and we are excited to provide both capital and industry expertise to help accelerate the Company’s growth.”

ChopShop executes in four dayparts – breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack – building traffic frequency from a loyal and diverse customer base. The expansive drink menu features pressed juices, protein shakes, teas and fresh lemonades.

“This investment fits Hargett Hunter’s strategy of investing in restaurant concepts that not only resonate with customers, but also have compelling unit economics,” said Jason Morgan, Managing Partner at Hargett Hunter. “We will invest in the ChopShop team and brand in order to grow quickly, and profitably.”

This transaction marks the inaugural investment by Hargett Hunter. “We are excited to publicly launch our firm’s efforts by investing in such a special company as ChopShop as it positions us to execute on future investment opportunities that have emanated from our deep roots, relationships and commitment inside the domestic restaurant industry,” commented Brock. “Hargett Hunter brings experienced, professionalized support and flexible capital to restaurant companies that are often considered too small of an investment by traditional private equity firms. We believe private equity investment will continue to evolve toward our unique model of strategically matching the needs of our investors to the needs of our operating companies, all while flexibly structuring around the preferred investment horizons of all stakeholders.”

Bentley Associates acted as exclusive financial advisor to ChopShop. Michael Weremblewski, Esq. provided legal counsel to ChopShop and Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP provided legal counsel to Hargett Hunter. Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP provided financial and accounting services to Hargett Hunter. Additional diligence services were provided by Bergemont Location Science & Strategy in Boston, Massachusetts and by LJR Hospitality Ventures in Dallas, Texas.

About Hargett Hunter Capital Partners

Hargett Hunter Capital Partners is a private investment firm founded in 2015 that invests in restaurant companies generating between $5,000,000 and $100,000,000 of annual revenue. Hargett Hunter provides control and minority equity capital and mezzanine debt to support growth, acquisitions and recapitalizations. Hargett Hunter has offices in Raleigh, North Carolina and Dallas, Texas. For more information, please visit www.hargetthunter.com.

About Original ChopShop Co.

Founded in 2013, Original ChopShop Co. is a healthy fast casual restaurant concept with three locations in greater Phoenix, Arizona. ChopShop features fresh, organic, and local dining options served in a bright, inviting environment across all three dayparts and snacks. The menu is elevated, contemporary fare with an emphasis on healthy offerings which include salads, sandwiches, protein bowls, parfaits, fruit bowls, and breakfast options. ChopShop also offers a diverse variety of drinks including pressed juices, protein shakes, fresh lemonades, and teas. Focused on health conscious consumers, the average menu item is priced below $10. For more information, please visit www.chopshopco.com.