Vancouver, Canada-based burger restaurant, Vera's Burger Shack, winner of "Vancouver's Best Burger" the last eight years running, this month announced the signing of an expansion deal which will see franchised locations opening across the US Pacific Northwest.
Under the terms of the deal, the first two locations are scheduled to open their doors in the Portland, Oregon neighbourhoods of Nyberg and Pearl District in the Fall of 2011. Over the next three years, the agreement calls for at least five restaurants across Oregon, Idaho and Southwest Washington State.
"After years of continued franchise growth in BC , we are excited about exporting Vera's award-winning made-fresh-daily burger experience to the US Pacific Northwest," said Vera's co-owner Gerald Tritt. "In the highly competitive US hamburger market, customers recognize a great burger when they taste one. We are confident our neighbours to the south will agree that "you can't beat Vera's meat."
The deal's area developer, Portland-based businessman and boxing promoter Paul Brown, visited Vancouver last year looking for potential locations for a planned frozen yogurt franchise. During his trip, he saw a picture of a Vera's burger in a storefront window and decided to conduct some on-the-spot market research.
"I had one bite of that burger and knew I had to bring Vera's to Portland," stated Brown, who has managed, sponsored or trained 18 World Champion boxers including Michael Spinks, Riddick Bowe and Mike Tyson. "Vera's will be the undisputed champion of all hamburger restaurants in the US Pacific Northwest. I believe the burger franchise they've developed stands second to none."
Brown plans to open restaurants featuring Vera's seasoned, freshly-made burgers and fries complemented by a self-serve frozen yogurt counter. The Portland locations are each expected to occupy 2500 square feet and include full sit-down bars.
Brown's vision and enthusiasm exemplifies the steady stream of interest shown by businesspeople across the globe in opening Vera's franchises outside of British Columbia.
"Although we've had numerous offers over the years from companies in the US and Canada, and from as far away as the UK and Kuwait, we've kept our expansion local  and worked on improving all aspects of the business. We feel like now is the perfect time to begin sharing Vera's world class burger experience beyond our borders."
Notwithstanding their expansion plans, Vera's remains focused on providing the ultimate hamburger to the legions of Lower Mainland burger fans to whom they owe their business success.
"Despite all of the dining options available to them, Vancouver's burger lovers continue to choose to eat at Vera's week after week and vote for us in the readership polls. We're extremely proud of the fact that, since the arrival of another two giant US burger chains in the Lower Mainland, not only have we grown from six to 16 locations, but Vera's is now setting up shop on their home turf. It speaks volumes about the quality of our food and the loyalty of our amazing customers. We will show them that we don't take them for granted for a second."