Business

Saucy Focaccia plans Westdale restaurant

Family company to lease former Chipotle site

The Chipotle location appealed to Saucy Foccacia founder Paul Andreasen, seen here in 2017 in NewBo City Market, because he lives on the southwest side of town. (The Gazette)
The Chipotle location appealed to Saucy Foccacia founder Paul Andreasen, seen here in 2017 in NewBo City Market, because he lives on the southwest side of town. (The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Saucy Focaccia, a family-owned burger and sandwich restaurant in the Fountains, is planning a second location at Westdale Town Center.

Mikenzie Andreasen, general manager of the restaurant at 5100 Fountains Dr. NE, said a lease has been signed for 2360 Edgewood Rd. SW. The space was formerly occupied by Chipotle Mexican Grill, which opened a restaurant there in 2016 and closed it in August 2018.

Andreasen, daughter of Saucy Focaccia owner Paul Andreasen, said the space offers several financial advantages for opening a second location in April.

“It already has the range hoods and a walk-in refrigerator,” she said. “Those are some very big costs that we don’t have to worry about because we are still paying off bills for our Fountains location.”

Paul Andreasen launched Saucy Focaccia with a food truck in 2013 and transitioned in 2014 to a booth in NewBo City Market. The stand-alone Fountains location followed in May 2016.

Mikenzie Andreasen said the Westdale space appealed to her father and the family because they live in southwest Cedar Rapids.

“We wanted to go somewhere that wasn’t too far away because we are locally owned,” she said. “We wanted it far enough away from the Fountains where we would potentially be getting new customers.”

Andreasen said the Westdale restaurant likely will employ between 10 and 14 people. The Fountains location employs 14 people.

“We are open from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day except Friday and Saturday, when we stay open until 9 p.m.,” Andreasen said. “We will keep the same schedule at Westdale. I know my dad wants to keep that consistent at both locations.”

Andreasen said the Westdale store also will feature the same menu items. Saucy Focaccia’s burgers and hand-cut fries have garnered the restaurant “Top Burger” and “Top Sandwich” honors from Hoopla’s Top Shelf voters.

Paul Andreasen formerly worked as a manager for a uniform company but missed the food business. He worked at other restaurants while developing the business plan that would become Saucy Focaccia.

“It was to the point where my father and mother (Alycia) decided that if they were going to do it, now was the time,” Andreasen said. “They opened the food truck in the southwest Menards parking lot.

“NewBo City Market scouted us out in the food truck. We had the food truck for one summer and we sold it to finance the NewBo booth.”

After a four-year stint in NewBo City Market, Paul and Alycia made the decision to open a restaurant in the Fountains development.

“The Fountains was a huge risk,” Andreasen said. “My parents were paying for everything, but we have been able to get our name out there. Winning some awards has really helped with marketing.”

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Andreasen said Alycia continues to work a full-time job while handling the accounting for Saucy Focaccia. Mikenzie said her brother, Riley, works for the family business when he is home from college.

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