J. Gumbo’s Adding Two More Columbus Locations
J. Gumbo’s first made their Columbus debut on Gay Street in 2009 and should have four locations open by the end of the year with new restaurants coming soon to the University District and Polaris area. We recently spoke with Brandon Salamone, the local franchise owner of this Kentucky-based chain who opened the Gahanna location earlier this year and is expanding with the two new stores, to find out more about what we can expect of the new locations.
Q: Tell us a bit about your personal and professional background.
A: I actually have a background in Medical Sales and Marketing. I always wanted to own my own business and I constantly searched for the right opportunity. I was introduced to the J. Gumbo’s franchise and concept and felt like it was the right fit for me. 10 months later and Gahanna has turned into the Flag Ship J. Gumbo’s location, we are expanding to new locations sooner that we imagined and last week I was nominated by the Economic & Community Development institute of Columbus to the SBA for the “2010 Small Business Person of the Year Award”, which is a HUGE honor!
Q: Tell us a bit about your experiences so far at the Gahanna location.
A: J. Gumbo’s Gahanna has been an awesome experience. We have been busy since day one, developed a loyal customer base and a ton of “regulars”. We executed a great pre-marketing strategy to get the word out that we were coming. It created anticipation and brought us business on day one. We plan on doing the same thing on Campus and in Polaris.
Q: What drew you to the OSU and Polaris locations for expansion?
A: The goal has always been to expand and further develop the brand throughout the Columbus and Central Ohio market. Beyond Gahanna & Downtown we saw Polaris and Campus as obvious food and retail areas that we wanted to be a part of. The Polaris area speaks for itself when it comes to food and retail, and for Campus we see our product and price point as a no brainer for students.
Q: Will the menus, offerings, and layouts be the same at the new locations?
A: The overall menus and offerings will be the same. The big differences are that Polaris and Campus will not have alcohol at this time and the overall layout and foot print will be smaller than Gahanna. Gahanna is the largest J. Gumbo’s in the country and the space allowed for the full bar and alcohol offerings. Our newest locations will be more focused on our great food recipes.
Q: When are the target opening dates for the new stores?
A: Exact opening dates are still up in the air. It is safe to say that both locations are looking to open sometime in the next three weeks. Each location will have its own grand opening event, with details to come. There will also be promotional pricing on all items for the first month of operation at each location.
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: J. Gumbo’s is excited about becoming a part of both the Campus and Polaris communities just the way we have done so in Gahanna and the Gay Street business district Downtown. Stay tuned for updated Facebook and Twitter fan pages to follow each of these new locations for exclusive offers and information on new entrees and more!
More information can be found online at http://www.jgumbos.com.