Opening a Carl’s Jr. franchise has been seven years in the making for the Richards family. The plan became closer to a reality last week following a ground-breaking ceremony.
Longtime Gig Harbor residents Jim and Susan Richards and their oldest son, Jay, have been working to open a franchise since they bought the parcel of land at 5524 Soundview Drive from a previous auction held by the state Department of Transportation.
“The permitting process and getting started in this economy has been a challenge, but there have been many people helping from the community, including the Gig Harbor Chamber, the City of Gig Harbor and Wells Fargo Bank, and especially support from Carl’s Jr.,” Jim Richards said.
The Richards family looked for the right company during the past six months.
“Carl’s Jr. was a great opportunity and the perfect fit for us,” Jay Richards said. “They provide high-quality food at a great price.”
He said the family is looking forward to being a bigger part of the community.
“After growing up with Gig Harbor, we will be able to grow and expand but ensure we keep the character of Gig Harbor that is so important to people,” Jay Richards said. “There’s been an overwhelmingly positive response from the community.”
Jay, who graduated from Whitman University in 2011, is the youngest franchise owner in the Carl’s Jr./Hardy’s restaurant chain. He trained in Vancouver, Wash., and helped to open other venues in Texas. He said he’s looking forward to starting his position as general manager when the restaurant opens in late November.
The store will be provide more than 40 full- and part-time jobs.
“With the dimensions of the property, we choose to do a two-story building,” Jim Richards said. “There will be 57 seats with a modern cafe-style look and an amazing view of Mount Rainier from the second floor.”
“Our family is excited to bring something great to the community,” Susan Richards said. “We love Gig Harbor.”Lifestyles Coordinator Kim Eibel can be reached at 253-358-4152 or by email at email@example.com.