Is there a more treasured comfort food than mac n’ cheese? If there is, I don’t want to hear about it because it would dampen my excitement for the expansion of the new restaurant chain, I Heart Mac & Cheese. The restaurant’s first Long Island store is located in Patchogue, Long Island, but the company has big plans ahead for building its brand through the opening of a planned 23 new locations, all in Long Island, according to Patch.com.
"This agreement is monumental for the I Heart Mac & Cheese brand and we believe we have found the perfect partners to build our presence in New York, with Manor 3," said Stephen Giordanella, I Heart Mac & Cheese CEO and Chairman. "While our concept is perfect for any aspiring entrepreneur, not requiring restaurant-specific experience, the opportunity to collaborate with seasoned restaurant franchise owners with built-in local connections will let us deliver an exceptional experience to a new base of customers."
Manor 3 is headed by restaurant franchise operator Vinny Greco, and his partner, Dan Dollard. After spending 25 years as the assistant equipment manager with the New York Mets, Greco transitioned his career into the restaurant industry. He has owned and operated two Hurricane Grill and Wings locations on Long Island for the past decade.
"I'm excited to join the I Heart Mac & Cheese brand and introduce this concept to the Long Island area," Greco said. "I am incredibly passionate about the restaurant business and especially enjoy helping create remarkable experiences for my guests. I feel I Heart Mac & Cheese is the next great franchise concept—one that will help me do just that— and I look forward to being part of the family."
I Heart Mac & Cheese sounds like a Mecca for mac n’ cheese lovers like me, as it specializes in custom, build-your-own macaroni and cheese bowls, as well as grilled cheese sandwiches—two of my favorite things! Diners simply select a pasta, bread, or salad base along with seven different proteins, cheeses, and vegetables, with gluten-free options available as well. The restaurant has also committed itself to rolling out health-conscious items like quinoa, cauliflower rice, and broccoli florets bowl bases.
The menu also contains specialty chef items like baked meatball parmesan, pepperoni pizza, baked chicken parmesan, the Cuban, and lobster & white truffle mac, to name a few. Side dishes are also available and include cheesy broccoli, tomato soup, and balsamic tomatoes, as well as desserts such as brownies, marshmallow treats, mini chocolate chip cookies, and caramel cookies.
The chain plans to open nine new stores in the first three years, with three opening in 2019. The locations have yet to be determined.
Will the rapid expansion send Long Islanders into a mac n’ cheese induced food coma? Keep reading Deli Market News for more details.