By Kalea Hall
Ron Taylor says he doesn’t have a creative mind, but if given a plan, he can make a business thrive.
First, Taylor and his wife, Lori, bought into the Edible Arrangements franchise and now have eight locations.
The Taylors and their business partners, Sean and Becca Ferrier, have bought into The Simple Greek restaurant franchise and opened their first location in Boardman.
“I am an operator, so franchising works very well for me,” Taylor said. “If you give me the ground rules and the framework, we can be successful.”
The Simple Greek, 1393 Boardman-Canfield Road, the 13th location for the restaurant, will have its grand opening Thursday. To celebrate, the new fast-casual Mediterranean restaurant will have $1 gyros from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for dine-in or carry out on that day, one gyro per person.
“We will probably lose our minds,” Ron said of the potential traffic, “but that’s the best way to figure it out.”
This is the first of eight The Simple Greek franchises that the four will open. The other locations could be as far away as Solon.
“We have a pretty sizable geography,” Ron said.
The Simple Greek franchise started in 2004 outside of Pittsburgh. Owners Mike Ference and Kathleen Kamouyerou-Ference attempted to franchise a few locations, but they needed help.
Marcus Lemonis, a self-made millionaire who recently purchased Gander Mountain out of bankruptcy and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” helped the owners create a new name and re-branded the franchise.
Lemonis even took the family through hundreds of tests and old family recipes to perfect the menu.
The Taylors, who watch “The Profit” religiously, took notice.
“I liked the premise of fast-casual Mediterranean food,” Ron said. “Mediterranean food is fresh and healthy, which fits in line with Edible Arrangements.”
The food at The Simple Greek is fresh, not prepackaged and heated up.
“That’s critical,” Ron said.
Customers build their own dishes at The Simple Greek. It starts with a bowl with rice, lentils or salad or customers can get a white or wheat pita. Then comes the sauce and the protein – traditional gyro, grilled steak, chicken gyro or grilled chicken. The toppings are imported Greek finishes.
Sides include hummus and pita, Greek fries with feta, oregano, garlic salt and red wine vinegar and village salad with house marinated cucumbers, tomatoes and onions.
There’s also a Greek yogurt bar and traditional Greek sweets.
“We fell in love with the food,” Ron said.
The Ferriers, who are new to business owning, also fell in love with the food.
“It’s fresh,” Becca said. “I am all about health, so that’s huge.”
Nancy and Natalie York of Canfield decided to stop in the new restaurant on Tuesday to be some of the first customers. Natalie works in the plaza and couldn’t wait for the a new Greek option in town to open.
“I was excited for it,” Natalie said.
The Simple Greek also offers catering. For information on the restaurant, go to: thesimplegreek.com.