MMA star Cathal Pendred kick-starts new outlet for Chopped
Retired MMA star Cathal Pendred has opened the largest Chopped food outlet to date, creating 30 new jobs in what is his first venture since leaving the sport.
Mr Pendred was announced as a franchisee for the healthy food company in November and has spent the last number of months finding a suitable location.
The new outlet will open at the Westend Shopping Centre in Blanchardstown with seating for 52 people.
The opening represents an investment of over €250,000 in what is an equal partnership between Mr Pendred and Chopped.
Speaking at the opening of the new outlet Mr Pendred described it as a "big day" for in what is his first business venture since leaving the mixed martial arts sport.
"Since I announced my retirement from competitive MMA last November all my focus has gone towards establishing my new career.
"I've set up a new company to facilitate this and I am working on a number of projects that will all be focused on the health food industry," he said.
The Blanchardstown outlet follows another opening last month in Rathmines.
The Chopped opening further strengthens its position in the greater Dublin area, where it has rolled out an aggressive franchise plan.
Managing director Brian Lee said he was "delighted" to be opening the company's biggest outlet.
"When we decided to start a franchising programme last year I spoke to Cathal about it and he was eager to get involved, because he knows first-hand how important healthy eating is. This isn't our normal franchise model but because of the relationship Cathal and I have we know this is the best approach," he said.
The expansion plan is set to bring the company's overall headcount to 320 by the end of the year.
Chopped was founded four years ago by Mr Lee and his business partner, Andy Chen.
The franchise fee for Chopped is €20,000 with the average turnkey cost coming in at around €180,000.
The firm takes a franchisee fee that is the equivalent of 6pc of net sales and a 2pc contribution.