Cara and Pickle Bar­rel make a ‘dill’

Bayview Post - - News -

Two gi­ant GTA food com­pa­nies came to­gether in a deal an­nounced Oct. 16 when Cara Op­er­a­tions pur­chased the Pickle Bar­rel restau­rant chain.

Pickle Bar­rel, founded in 1971, has 12 cor­po­ra­te­owned restau­rants: 11 Pickle Bar­rel lo­ca­tions and the Glow Fresh Grill & Wine Bar at the Shops at Don Mills. The com­pany gen­er­ates ap­prox­i­mately $50 mil­lion in sales an­nu­ally.

Peter Higley, pres­i­dent of Pickle Bar­rel, said the sale will not re­sult in mas­sive changes.

“They’ll cer­tainly be look­ing to grow the busi­ness, whether it’s from the ca­ter­ing an­gle or from restau­rants, and as op­por­tu­ni­ties present them­selves in the mar­ket, we now are no longer con­fined to On­tario,” said Higley.

Pickle Bar­rel holds a 50 per cent in­ter­est in Rose Reisman’s epony­mous ca­ter­ing com­pany, and Reisman said she is ex­cited to see where it will lead.

“I think some­one as large as Cara with the ex­per­tise they have, in terms of all the restau­rants they’re ac­quir­ing, just gives you more op­por­tu­nity in the fu­ture,” said Reisman. “As [Cara] ven­tures into ca­ter­ing … they re­al­ize that’s where the pat­terns are go­ing.”

Higley has been run­ning the Pickle Bar­rel Group of Restau­rants since 1992. He will join Cara’s ex­ec­u­tive team and con­tinue to lead the Pickle Bar­rel Group within Cara. The op­er­a­tions and head of­fices will be re­lo­cated to Cara’s head­quar­ters in Vaughan.

Cara Op­er­a­tions, which also owns Swiss Chalet, Har­vey’s, Kelsey’s and other well-known chains, was founded in 1883 and is Canada’s old­est, largest fullser­vice restau­rant com­pany, with 1,197 of its 1,255 restau­rants lo­cated in Canada.

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