The Greene Turtle and Clark Crew BBQ Unite as an Entrepreneurial Restaurant Powerhouse
June 22, 2022
New holding company – ITA Group Holdings – adds Clark Crew BBQ to portfolio of concepts, including The Greene Turtle and the Founder Growth Platform
Columbia, MD (RestaurantNews.com) The Greene Turtle Franchising Corporation created a new holding company structure – ITA Group Holdings LLC (ITA). Today, the innovative parent company announced that it has acquired Oklahoma-based Clark Crew BBQ, to add to its growing portfolio. Clark Crew BBQ is founded and led by Travis Clark, who has won more BBQ Grand Championships than any competitor in history over a six year time span.
The acquisition was completed simultaneously with a recapitalization of the company, with debt provided by Sandy Spring Bank and Pelham S2K. Post transaction, ITA will own The Greene Turtle – a Maryland-based sports restaurant and bar – Clark Crew BBQ and the Founder Growth Platform (FGP), which invests in and supports promising founders and concepts. FGP has partnered with six fast-casual brands to date. ITA’s goal is to leverage the entrepreneurial energy and knowledge of the founders across all concepts in its portfolio.
This year, The Greene Turtle will build a record-breaking four company-owned units. In addition, ITA will build six FGP units – for a total of 10 in the year – marking the fastest unit growth ever in The Greene Turtle’s 46-year history.
“For the first time in Greene Turtle’s history, we’ve completed an acquisition of a new concept and added significant immediate scale to the company,” said The Greene Turtle CEO Geo Concepcion. “This is an incredibly important step in our company’s rapid growth and puts us in an excellent position to continue to execute on our long-term plan. We’re proud to join forces with Travis and the Clark Crew BBQ team and are excited for what’s to come from ITA’s impressive roster of concepts and leaders.”
As part of the agreement, Clark is now a partner in ITA and will serve as president of the award-winning barbecue brand, overseeing and directing all operations. Clark and Concepcion previously worked together when Concepcion served as chief operating officer of Famous Dave’s. The duo’s joint competitive spirit and desire to create something new and special in the restaurant industry led them to reunite.
ITA’s recent launch of FGP made the timing ideal to bring Clark and his concept into the fold. ITA can now support Clark in his brand’s growth, and Clark can, in turn, support other founders as they build and scale their brands through FGP. Founders that are part of FGP are encouraged to assist in various areas across the portfolio, such as culinary and operations, as ITA continues to improve the overall quality of its concepts’ offerings.
“My team and I are excited to bring the World Championship BBQ of Clark Crew BBQ together with The Greene Turtle to become a powerhouse,” Clark said. “These are companies with a passion to succeed, win and be the best in the business. I’m also excited to take what we’ve learned the last few years and help other entrepreneurs, who are beginning the journey of building their brand, make that dream a reality.”