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Brighter Bites considers franchise affiliates for growth

Brighter Bites executive director Sam Newman spoke with Retail Editor Pamela Riemenschneider about the organization’s plans for growth.

PLANO, TX—Brighter Bites has a vision of programs across the U.S., and may turn to affiliate or franchise programs to do it.

In the six years since Brighter Bites started, the organization has grown from one school in Houston to branches in Austin, Dallas, Washington, D.C., New York and Florida, says executive director Sam Newman. Brighter Bites distributes fresh produce to families in underserved communities through a weekly program combined with education and sampling to increase fresh produce consumption.

Newman discussed the organization’s plans for growth following a presentation at the Dallas Fresh Food Association held at the North Texas Food Bank.

Since its inception, Brighter Bites has expanded by going into new sites, cultivating relationships and building partnerships with food banks, distributors and local growers in-house, Newman says. They start with two to three programs per site the first year, and expand from there.

“So our plan over the next few years is to really grow in that respect,” Newman says. “Let’s call it one or two markets a year in the next two to three years.”

But, Brighter Bites, backed by the Newark, Del.-based Produce Marketing Association, has bigger plans.

“Our goal is a national brand,” Newman says. “And we think that a franchise or affiliate model is the best way to do that.”

It takes a lot of time to identify local champions, resources and similar programs already in place – which Newman says Brighter Bites wants to avoid overlapping.

“If we can outsource that to a local entity, to a local champion organization, we think we can grow a lot faster, a lot wider, and do it in a way that maintains our efficacy,” he says.

Pamela Riemenschneider is the Retail Editor for Blue Book Services.