Oprah’s newest bet is a restaurant chain with ambitious expansion plans
Oprah Winfrey is expanding her food empire with an investment in a restaurant chain that specializes in healthy eating and drinking.
Winfrey has made an equity investment in True Food Kitchen. The terms of the deal were not revealed. Winfrey is joining the restaurant’s board and will “collaborate and consult” with its leadership team and “extend her strategic insight” to support the brand’s national expansion.
True Food Kitchen has a health-driven menu of seasonal dishes and natural beverages. It operates 23 restaurants in 10 states, with plans to double its store count during the next three years. Key focus areas include new markets in New York, New Jersey and North Carolina. It is set to open two new locations in the coming months, in Nashville, Tennessee and Jacksonville, Florida.
The company was founded in by physician Dr. Andrew Weil, director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, with the menu inspired by “anti-inflammatory” diet. The menu offers sustainable, local and organic meals, including vegan and vegetarian options. Private equity firm Centerbridge is True Food Kitchen’s controlling shareholder.
“When Ms. Winfrey and I first sat down to discuss her potential investment, I was impressed by her genuine passion for the intention behind True Food,” said Christine Barone, CEO, True Food Kitchen. “My hope is that her passion and investment will continue to develop our growing brand to allow even more guests to experience a better way of eating.”
In 2015, Winfrey bought an approximate 10% stake in Weight Watchers, and received a seat on the board. She also has a partnership with Kraft Heinz Company for a line of prepared foods sold at supermarkets.
In a statement, Winfrey said she sought out Barone after dining at the chain with her friend and health expert, Bob Greene.
“I love bringing people together over a good meal,” Winfrey stated. “When I first dined at True Food Kitchen, I was so impressed with the team’s passion for healthy eating and, of course, the delicious food, that I knew I wanted to be part of the company’s future.”
No comments found
Tax law glitch puts crimp on store renovation plans
A drafting error in the new tax law is causing some retailers and restaurant owners to delay their renovation and improvement plans.
As written, the law allows companies to write off renovation costs (made to non-residential real estate) over 39 years. The authors of the tax law had intended for the businesses to be able to write off the full costs of the improvements in one year.
A group of more than 100 retailers, restaurants and trade groups, including the National Retail Federation and Retail Industry Leaders Association, have urged Congress to take “quick action” to make two technical corrections to law.
“The delay in correcting these provisions has caused economic hardship for some retailers and restaurants and is also delaying investments across the economy that impact the communities in which these companies are doing business,” the businesses and groups said in a letter sent in June to the top Republicans and Democrats on the congressional tax-writing committees.
One of the technical corrections sought by the group has to do with the renovation write- off.
“This very large difference in the after-tax cost of making improvements is causing a delay in some store and restaurant remodeling projects, as well as causing some retailers to decline opportunities to purchase or lease new store locations that would require substantial improvements,” the retailers and restaurants stated in the letter.
The second correction is related to the effective date of a provision that generally bans businesses from carrying back net operating losses to prior years. Lawmakers had intended for the ban to take effect for taxable years starting after Dec. 31, 2017. But the law instead says it applies for taxable years ending after Dec. 31, 2017.
Republican leaders have acknowledged the mistakes, but there is no quick fix in sight at this point as the corrections would require consensus across the aisles.
No comments found