"I had stumbled upon I Heart Mac & Cheese on social media," says franchisee and owner James Maraugh. "I thought the name was really catchy and the concept seemed pretty cool since there is nothing really like that in this area."
According to the company's website, there are currently 18 franchises spread across eight states: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, New York, South Carolina, and Texas. The first Arizona location opened in April at the Shops at Warner Village in Tempe.
The restaurant's macaroni and cheese bowls are customizable. Guests select a pasta, bread, quinoa, broccoli, cauliflower, or tater tot base along with a choice of 10 different proteins, 11 vegetables, and nine kinds of cheese. Sesame ginger, mango habanero, buffalo, BBQ, and pesto are a few of the delicious dressings and sauces available to mix in or top off each creation.
Vegan cheese sauce, plant-based proteins, and dairy-free alternatives are available, according to the website. Gluten-free pasta and grilled cheese sandwiches are also available.
According to Maraugh, some of the more popular menu items include baked chicken parmesan, baked meatball parmesan, pepperoni pizza, and lobster and white truffle mac. Sides include cheesy broccoli and tomato soup, according to the website. Chocolate chip cookies and cheesecake bites with dipping sauces (caramel, chocolate, and strawberry) are offered for dessert.
“We love celebrating childhood comfort food classics and enjoy entering new communities to share the concept," says chairman and CEO Steve Giordanella. "We’re really looking forward to seeing the success Scottsdale will have.”
The opening on October 20 will reward three lucky visitors with a chance to win mac and cheese for a year if you are one of the first 100 guests at the restaurant, Maraugh says.
I Heart Mac & Cheese Scottsdale will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. Delivery options can be found through Uber Eats, Postmates, DoorDash, and GrubHub.