MANATEE COUNTY — Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, a Wichita, Kan.,-based chain of eateries with locations open in 19 states, will make its Florida debut in the East County.
The freestanding location for the new Freddy’s is a retrofitted Arby’s in the Creekwood Crossing shopping center off State Road 70, just west of Interstate 75. The new restaurant likely will hire up to 75 employees. Additional sites are planned for the region over the next few years.
“We are extremely excited to bring Freddy’s great tastes and quality food to Bradenton,” franchise operator Cash Shelton, of Lakewood Ranch, said of his first Freddy’s location.
Shelton, whose father was a pizza-restaurant franchisee, grew up in the restaurant industry. He and his wife, Maria, are originally are from Wichita. They chose Freddy’s for their new franchise venture because they like the company’s culture, Cash Shelton said.
Sarah Selmon, director of site analysis and communications for Freddy’s, said the store’s opening is slated for late April. Construction on the space began Feb. 6, although plans for the new store were approved in September.
The Manatee County Freddy’s will bring the overall total of stores nationwide to nearly 90.
Founded in 2002 and franchised in 2004, Freddy’s is known for cooked-to-order steakburgers, shoestring fries and custard desserts. The chain, with locations built in 1940s and 1950s burger-joint style, operates six corporately owned locations in the Wichita area and three in the Kansas City market. Other locations are spread from California to Pennsylvania.
“We’re growing around the country,” Selmon said. “Florida will be the (20th) state.”
The company has been named to Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500 list several times, and it also made the Inc. magazine 500/5000 for fast growth.
“We are very grateful for this level of growth and for the guests who have such a strong affinity for our food,” Freddy’s co-founder and COO Scott Redler said in a press release.
— Pam Eubanks contributed to this report.