Most Historic City News readers love Southern comfort food. So, when two Jacksonville entrepreneurs, Gus Evans, who at the time was laid off from Elkins Constructors, and partner Scott Moore, who at the time was laid off from Winn-Dixie Stores, came up with the concept for an eatery that would be known for its biscuits and chicken breasts, we knew that they were clearly on the path to a bright future for their business — Maple Street Biscuit Company. Today it was announced that Maple Street Biscuit Co has been purchased by Cracker Barrel in a reported $36 million deal.
At St Augustine’s local breakfast and lunch location, 39 Cordova Street, Maple Street Biscuit Co has found its niche with a mix of Flagler College students, local devotees, and visitors vacationing in the Nations Oldest City. The brand, which debuted in the San Marco section of Jacksonville in 2012, has grown extensively over the past seven years to include 28 company-owned and five franchised locations across seven states.
“We have long admired Maple Street Biscuit Co. with its emphasis on made-from-scratch food and hospitality,” Cracker Barrel CEO Sandra Cochran said in a statement. “It is a proven brand with attractive unit economics and strong growth potential, and it is positioned to become a leader in this category. The acquisition accelerates our penetration in this segment and provides growth for delivering shareholder value.”
The number of stores operating under the Maple Street Biscuit brand will grow by seven in coming months. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc said it will transform its seven “Holler & Dash Biscuit House” storefronts into Maple Street locations in the coming months. Moore will remain as CEO of Maple Street Biscuit Co, according to the media release.
“Our model relies on community leaders for each store, out there serving and getting to know the guests,” Moore was quoted in a 2017 published interview with the Jacksonville Business Journal. “So, we do two things concurrently: looking for that right person and the right place. We want people who are going to be there for a long, long time. It’s not how commercial businesses normally work.”
Each store looks for an average unit volume over $1 million. According to Cracker Barrell, they target earnings over 17 percent of net sales.