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Saladworks parent company buys Garbanzo Mediterranean

Centre Lane Partners bought the fast-casual chain out of bankruptcy for $1.2 million and has formed a new holding company called Woworks.
Photograph courtesy of Woworks

Centre Lane Partners, the owner of the salad concept Saladworks, has acquired Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh out of bankruptcy for $1.2 million.

Saladworks, which also acquired Frutta Bowls, said on Tuesday that it has created a new holding company to oversee its three brands, called Woworks.

“We believe Garbanzo and Frutta Bowls are complementary brands, all sharing a core DNA based on fresh, flavorful and healthy food along with a heart for hospitality served through convenient business channels,” Kelly Roddy, CEO of Saladworks, said in a statement.

He noted that the concepts appeal “to our Millennial family and Gen Z guests. We are excited to leverage the appeal of these unique and differentiated brands.”

Garbanzo is a mostly franchised brand that operated 25 locations before it declared bankruptcy in August with $16.5 million in debt. According to court filings the company worked to find a buyer for two months before Centre Lane Partners stepped up with its $1.2 million bid.

James Park, the current CEO of Garbanzo, will stay on as a special advisor. “Garbanzo has a favorable path for growth post-pandemic and I’m looking forward to working alongside the new holding company Woworks to ensure a smooth transition,” he said in a statement.

Saladworks currently operates more than 100 locations and has grown by more than 40 locations this year alone, the company said. About 80% of those openings are in non-traditional locations, including ghost kitchens, retail, hospitals and universities.

Frutta Bowls is a fast-casual concept that serves a selection of bowls such as acai, pitaya and kale.

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