Soupman Inc., the parent company of soup brand Original SoupMan, has appointed Lloyd Sugarman to the position of CEO. Sugarman, who brings a wealth of retail merchandising, restaurant operations and franchising experience, will focus on the expansion of the company’s award-winning soups into the $6 billion annual retail soup category following the recent launch of The Original SoupMan’s Tetra Pak cartons in grocers’ soup aisles, a news release says.
SoupMan’s new shelf-stable carton soups are now being sold in the main soup aisle of supermarkets across the country alongside Campbell’s and Progresso.
In addition to the grocery store retail line, Sugarman intends to also leverage his 20 years of restaurant industry experience to expand the company’s franchise model, Al’s Famous New York Delicatessen & Restaurant, which features the Original SoupMan soups, along with a full authentic New York delicatessen breakfast and lunch menu. The company recently announced multi-unit franchise deals to open Al’s Famous New York Delicatessen & Restaurant models in casinos throughout the U.S. and Canada. The next two locations are slated to open in the Mohegan Resorts Casino in Atlantic City and the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Pennsylvania.
“We believe that Lloyd’s unique combination of business acumen, creative thinking and incredible passion and energy make him an ideal fit to lead our management team at SoupMan,” said Robert Bertrand, president of SoupMan. “He thinks big and has shown that he knows how to execute. SoupMan is at a pivotal point in our growth with product presence in grocery stores and growing our deli franchise. We believe Lloyd is the leader to get us where we want to be on both fronts.”
Sugarman was one of the first to sign on when the 25-year-old Johnny Rockets brand started franchising in 1986. Today, he operates 17 Johnny Rockets locations throughout seven states, with annual sales exceeding $24 million—some of the highest-grossing locations in the 300-unit chain. He is credited for introducing entertainment elements, adding vegetarian menu items and introducing a new prototype that catapulted the hamburger chain’s success. In 2010, seeing tremendous potential, Sugarman became an area developer for the Original SoupMan and currently owns three Original SoupMan franchises across seven states, according to the release.
“We are taking what has historically been a dormant category and making it incredibly exciting by doing something we believe is different and better than anyone out there,” Sugarman said. “We’ve got powerful brand recognition. We’ve got celebrities and athletes and famous chefs backing us. We’ve got Tetra-Pak packaging to preserve taste and quality of Al’s famous soups and artistic design that appeals to the eye, and we’ve got a franchise restaurant model to supplement grocery store distribution. But at the core of it all is a superior product. That’s what we expect will catapult our growth and carry us for years to come.”