Londie Nicole was a new mom almost four months ago when she lay in bed wondering how she could better support herself and her family when she started surfing the internet looking for a new opportunity. She wasn't looking for the Peach Cobbler Factory and had not in fact ever heard of it, but she sent them an email inquiring about franchising opportunities.
She got a call from Greg George, a franchise specialist and a partner in the Peach Cobbler Factory chain of restaurants, and was surprised by his first question, and it pretty much sealed the deal.
"He asked me if I had children," she said. She thought it was a deal breaker, but it was just the opposite as George told her this was the perfect opportunity. George said in an interview this week that he believes he has found a once-in-a-lifetime home run with the chain. And, as proof, he points to the store that Nicole is set to open after the first of the year at 301 E. Martin Luther King Boulevard.
"It already has more than 22,000 followers on Facebook," he said. "This will be a 1,000-store chain, I believe. And, I'll tell you why: Because you can't buy our products anywhere else. You can't find 12 flavors of cobbler and get a scoop of ice cream on it like ours. You can't do it. Or, five flavors of banana pudding - chocolate chip, red velvet cake, original, Nutella and strawberry - or a cobbler stuffed cinnamon roll and that's all we offer."
"It's a very simple menu, but we sell 6,000 pounds of cobbler at each location 8 ounces at a time."
For now, Peach Cobbler Factory is in 10 states with 40 locations. The first was opened in Nashville by Tamira and Juan Edgerton, who moved to Nashville from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. They started selling their cobblers at the local weekend market and soon bought a food truck. And, then a second, and then they opened a brick-and-mortar place.
"Everybody kept asking about franchising, and then I walked in," George said.
In order to open the store downtown, Nicole had to find a location, but she had a ready-made solution. She is also the owner of Levelz Salon, which just so happened to be located on MLK, which she thought was a better location for a Peach Cobbler Factory with its proximity to UTC and downtown workers.
"I kicked myself out, and moved the salon to Brainerd Road," she said with a laugh.
Having never been to a Peach Cobbler Factory, Nicole said she had to travel to Louisville, Kentucky, to learn about the restaurant and the franchise. That trip further confirmed her desire to open the first one in Chattanooga.
"I love the product," she said. "It can be sweet, but there are levels of sweet and something for everyone."
But she points out the main reason she is opening the store is all about her daughter, True Faith.
"If not for her, I wouldn't have done it," she said. "She is my reason."
Contact Barry Courter at email@example.com or 423-757-6354.
- What: Peach Cobbler Factory, 301 East Martin Luther King Blvd.- Hours: Noon-8 p.m.- Menu favorites: The restaurant will offer 12 flavors of cobbler topped with vanilla ice cream, the cobbler-stuffed cinnamon roll and five flavors of banana pudding.