Between Rounds Bakery Sandwich Café will soon be opening its second Vernon location at 229 Talcottville Road – less than an mile from its store at 243 Vernon Circle.
The new store, expected to open in November, will be inside the Citgo gas station, and will have a drive-through window.
Between Rounds co-founder and franchisee Jerry Puiia said the location on the southbound side of route 83 makes perfect sense, especially for commuters heading toward I-84 in the morning.
"If you look at the traffic that comes down Rt. 83, Talcottville Road, there's a lot of it," he said. "You have a Starbucks with a drive-through, a McDonald's with a drive-through, and a Dunkin Donuts with a drive-through. The unit that we're putting in will be the first one you would come to. Our thought process is that we probably have a lot of customers who would come to us in the morning, but don't have time."
Between Rounds features fresh-ground and brewed gourmet coffee, signature breakfast and lunch sandwiches, fresh bagels, and other fresh baked goods.
The new Vernon franchise will be owned and operated by Adam Wayne, a native of New York. Wayne is a familiar face in the franchise community, having previously co-owned and operated four Edible Arrangements franchises in the Connecticut area for 12 years. After a partnership dissolution, Wayne became the sole owner of the Edible Arrangements franchise located in Manchester Parkade Shopping Center.
A Blimpie sub shop had been originally planned for that location, but never materialized. That leaves some of the restaurant infrastructure intact and more easily adaptable for Between Rounds.
"All of the equipment was in there for a drive-through operation. It was kind of a no-brainer," Puiia said. "I think Adam is going to go in there and do very well, without a lot of up-front expense."
Between Rounds has been in business for more than two decades and is the brainchild of Jerry and Joe Puiia, who are Staten Island, New York natives. The Puiia hallmark is manufacturing and selling their own bagels, which set them apart from other cafés. Between Rounds locations include corporate headquarters in South Windsor, Vernon Circle Shopping Center in Vernon, the Plaza at Buckland Hills in Manchester, and the independently owned Tolland store - adjacent to a Citgo Express Gas Station.
Wanting to diversify, and having been a longtime Between Rounds customer and fan, Wayne began to consider a Between Rounds franchise offering. He had been working with Global Franchise Exchange, the same business broker as the Puiia brothers, so an introduction was made. Wayne said the decision to open a Between Rounds franchise was an easy one.
"I am a self-taught business owner, but my background in social work enables me to really understand what motivates people, which is key in this industry," explained Wayne. "There are plenty of franchise opportunities out there, but I am truly impressed with Jerry and Joe Puiia, their concept and the high quality of Between Rounds products. I'm very excited about the new store and ready to grow it."
"Adam is a seasoned, successful franchise owner and great fit for our organization. We're thrilled about our new drive-through, which we feel will do very well in this particular area," said Jerry Puiia.
Between Rounds recently added the Tolland location, and Puiia said there are several other stores in the works in the area, including possible new Between Rounds Cafés in Farmington, Newington, Middlebury, Southington, and other towns.
"This concept of putting the Between Rounds kiosks in convenience stores is coming at a time when the gas stations are looking for more traffic in their stores," Puiia said, adding that the Between Rounds' brand has seen some (perhaps overdue) popularity, because of the quality of its products.
"The biggest thing I hear is that our bagels are fresh, and they taste good," he said. "People like the product mix. The breakfast sandwiches offer a lot of value for the money. I think we're in the right place at the right time."
For more information about Between Rounds, visit www.betweenroundsbagels.com.