Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Franchises Look to Stake a Claim Here

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Franchises Look to Stake a Claim Here

Article excerpt

Firehouse Subs, a national chain with about 700 restaurants, will be opening its first outlets in New Jersey -- including Totowa and Wayne -- next year. On Sunday, Ever Santana, the company's representative for the New York metro area, was busy looking to recruit additional franchisees.

"New Jersey-New York is just a very dynamic market to do business in," Santana said.

He was one of 90 exhibitors at the New York/New Jersey Franchise & Business Opportunity Expo, held Saturday and Sunday at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus.

At the event, well-established national franchisers ranging from Firehouse Subs, Subway and Cinnabon, as well as North Jersey businesses just expanding into franchising, had booths. The North Jersey businesses included Upper Saddle River-based The Gravity Vault, an indoor rock-climbing gym, and Ramsey-headquartered Planet Swirl, a frozen-yogurt chain.

They were all courting potential franchisees in the tri-state region, New Jersey included. North Jersey is a competitive market, but its population density and affluence make some franchisers believe it's an area they must have a presence in.

There was a vast array of businesses represented on the busy show floor, ranging from Uncle Louie G Italian ices, which had a food truck giving out samples of its frozen treats; Carvel, which was handing out ice cream scoopers; K9 Resorts Daycare & Luxury Hotels, which offers boarding for dogs; Gym Guyz, which brings fitness equipment and trainers to customers by van; and, which positions itself as "your neighborhood tech," offering local support and repair for consumer electronics.

The show drew roughly 1,000 people each day, said Judy Moreland, show manager for the event's sponsor, National Event Management of Markham, Ontario. Some attendees were looking for a way to ease from their current jobs to an endeavor for their retirement, while others were sick of the corporate rat race and wanted to become their own bosses. The show is positioned as a primer on owning your own business.

Julie McGarry of River Edge was walking the floor and paid a visit to The Rock Underground, a music-school chain with three outlets in Long Island. The company is looking to branch out into New Jersey, while McGarry is considering starting her own business and is also eyeing possible future endeavors for her son, a music major in college. …

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