, the fast-casual Hawaiian and Japanese poke bowl concept co-founded by a former MLB pitcher, has signed a franchise sales agreement to sell more than 300 locations in eight states over the next five years.
The healthy poke concept anticipates the initial 120 stores will be operations in the next 24-30 months, according to the partnership agreement with True Capital Partners LLC. The expansion will include new storefronts in California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Washington, according to a press release from Erica Shipione of Mack Media Group, the PR firm for Koibito Poke.
Arizona-based Koibito Poke was co-founded by former MLB pitcher and two-time World Series champion Todd Stottlemyre.
"After spending a year looking for the right development partner, we are very pleased to engage with a group with such a proven track record for success," says Stottlemyre.
According to the press release, True Capital Partners approached Koibito Poke because of its appeal to a sizable customer base.
"We have been searching for a restaurant concept which could be a real success story, and we are convinced that Koibito Poke is the absolute best-positioned brand to dominate the national space going forward," says Adam Daniel, a True Capital spokesperson.
Daniel says the group searched for a dining concept that addresses three huge barriers that are devastating the restaurant industry today: Labor shortages, food cost inflation, and rent.
"Koibito provided the perfect solution to all those barriers of entry, and so we immediately committed our resources into development and are looking forward to massive success with Todd and his team," says Daniel. "We're very confident that we will attract experienced and successful franchise developers from around the country to be part of this new and exciting expansion."
Along with the new franchise sales agreement, the restaurant chain will expand the brand in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. There are currently four locations in the Valley. One in Arcadia, one in Chandler, and two in Scottsdale.
Founded in 2018, Koibito Poke is influenced by traditional Hawaiian and Japanese flavors and ingredients. Koibito means "love" in Japanese. The menu offers four signature bowls, along with build-your-own poke, chicken, tofu, and veggie bowls.