Drive-thru C-store Sells First Franchise

OUTER BANKS, N.C. -- The Brew Thru drive-thru convenience chain, which originated here in 1977 and boasts five locations, gained its first franchisee in John Childers, resident of Tybee Island, Ga., the Outer Banks Sentinel reported.

Earlier this week, Childers met with company owner Philip Foreman; Michelle Pruitt, general manager; and Paul Samson, franchise sales associate, to sign the final papers at a Brew Thru store here, the report stated.

"We have been franchising for a little over a year," Pruitt told the paper. "We are now able to sell in Maryland, North Carolina, West Virginia, Georgia and Florida."

Childers told the paper he visited the area six or seven years ago and visited the Brew Thru store at Jockey's Ridge while staying there, and his first impressions were positive.

The first franchise store will be located in an area where there are approximately 3,000 people during the off season and can draw more than 1.5 million visitors during the tourist season, according to the report. The drive-thru convenience store will be the first of its kind on the Georgia coast, the report stated.

Depending on whether the property for the franchise is purchased or financed, it could take between four to nine months to open a 1,400- to 2,500-square-foot store, Pruitt told the Sentinel.

The company owner's parents-in law, Dana and Becky Lawrentz, began the business in 1977, and Philip bought the business from them in 2002. The chain now includes five locations along the Outer Banks, including one walk-in outlet store in Kill Devil Hills, N.C.
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