GARDEN FRESH NAMES DAVID GORONKIN
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Former Real Mex CEO Brings More than 25 Years of Restaurant Experience
SAN DIEGO—June 4, 2012—Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp, known for its Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes fresh, all-you-care-to eat restaurants, today announced the appointment of David Goronkin as the company’s Chief Executive Officer.
Goronkin brings more than 25 years of restaurant industry experience, most recently as Chief Executive Officer at Real Mex Restaurants, which owns and operates brands including Chevy’s Fresh Mex, El Torito, and Acapulco in more than a dozen states, as well as a food manufacturing and distribution company, with total annual sales of more than $300 million. Immediately prior to Real Mex, Goronkin was President and CEO of Bennigan’s Franchising Company. He has also held executive and senior management positions at Redstone American Grill, Famous Dave’s of America, and Buffet’s Inc., operator of the HomeTown Buffet and Old Country Buffet chains. Goronkin received the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association’s Silver Plate Award in 2006, and has served on the Board of the National Restaurant Association and its educational foundation.
“The Board is very pleased that David Goronkin, a proven executive with a track record of success in the restaurant business, is joining Garden Fresh,” said Tom Taylor, Chairman of the Board of Garden Fresh and Managing Director of Sun Capital Partners, a private investment firm whose affiliate owns Garden Fresh. “David brings a wealth of diverse restaurant experience and we believe his outside perspective will be very valuable for Garden Fresh to meet current industry challenges and continue its growth.”
Since Garden Fresh was acquired by an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners in 2005, the company has grown to 126 restaurants in 15 states.
“I am excited and honored to be joining the Garden Fresh team,” said Goronkin. “The Company has a strong, values-based culture, and Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes are two great brands that are well-positioned as more Americans seek out fresh, healthy dining options. I’m confident Garden Fresh can capture this opportunity and build on the Company’s past success.”
Goronkin succeeds Michael Mack, who founded the Company in 1983 after purchasing the first two Souplantation restaurants. Ken Keane, President, is also leaving the Company and will not be replaced.
“Both Ken and I have had a great relationship with the people at Garden Fresh and, for the past six years, with Sun Capital,” said Mack. “We leave knowing the Company is in good hands and has very bright prospects for the future under its new, experienced leadership and with the support of our great management team and dedicated employees.”
“The Board thanks Michael and Ken for their passion and service over more than 25 years, and we wish them the best in their future endeavors,” added Taylor.
About Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp.
Celebrating over 30 years, Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp. is a leader in the restaurant industry, having established a unique and successful business model for casual dining that has grown since 1978. The company’s chain of Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes restaurants offers an exceptional, healthful dining experience with a daily selection of made-from-scratch soups and salads and hand-crafted muffins, focaccia, breads and tasty desserts. By combining high-quality, farm-fresh and scratch-made foods for a fixed price, our restaurants provide guests with the freedom to create their own wholesome meals. Garden Fresh restaurant concepts are built around fresh prepared, great-tasting recipes with a salad bar full of seasonal vegetables and tossed salads prepared exhibition-style every 20 minutes. Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes restaurants are open daily for lunch and dinner and also for a special Sunday breakfast that features a variety of delicious morning favorites in addition to regular selections. For more information about Garden Fresh and its Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes restaurants visit www.souplantation.com or www.sweettomatoes.com.
For more information contact:
Stanton Public Relations & Marketing