Newk’s Eatery Franchisee Cassandra Stokes nominated for IFA Franchisee of the Year
Newk’s Cares — the philanthropic arm of growing fast-casual restaurant brand Newk’s Eatery — has been named a Silver Award Winner by the International Franchise Association’s Education & Research Foundation’s second annual “Franchising Gives Back” Awards. The awards program salutes the most innovative community leaders and charitable programs nationwide.
“Our Franchising Gives Back Award winners are such great examples of caring and community leadership and we are delighted to recognize them and the charities that they support,” said Doc Cohen, CFE, IFA Education & Research Foundation Chairman. “Franchising Gives Back honors them and the thousands of wonderful, individual acts of charity by franchise owners, franchisors, and suppliers throughout the year.”
Taking home the Silver Award in the Innovation and Impact category, Newk’s Cares was recognized along with other industry leaders at an awards dinner hosted by the Foundation in Washington D.C. last week.
Founded in 2014, Newk’s Cares is committed to raising critical awareness and financial support for ovarian cancer research in a battle for life that started with the personal cancer journey of the wife of Newk’s Eatery’s CEO. Diagnosed with Stage IIIC ovarian cancer in early 2013, Lori Newcomb and her husband Chris have since joined with Newk’s Cares supporters to raise more than $420,000 for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance (OCRFA)— a number that is expected to exceed half a million dollars by year-end.
With 1 in 78 women facing ovarian cancer during their lifetime, Newk’s Cares is shining a spotlight on what has been dubbed this generation’s “silent killer” with a robust year-round, in-store and online ovarian cancer education campaign in all of its company and franchise-owned restaurants. Additionally, the brand is rallying the community during Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month to pedal toward a cure with its third annual Ovarian Cycle spin cycle celebration on September 29 in Jackson, Mississippi.
“While Newk’s Cares began with my own diagnosis, it has since grown into an incredible community made up of hundreds of women and families who are bravely facing ovarian cancer battles of their own,” said Lori Newcomb, Newk’s Cares Co-Founder. “Their stories and their lives are what we’re working for, and we are grateful to see the cause gain momentum with each new year.”
Newk’s Eatery’s Franchisee of the Year, Cassandra Stokes of SEKOTS, Too, was also recognized by the IFA. As an IFA Franchisee of the Year Nominee, Stokes was honored as a standout businessperson whose organization has contributed to the growth and success of franchising in the global economy.
Based in Jackson, Mississippi, Newk’s Eatery is leading the next generation of fast casual with its culinary-driven menu prepared in Newk’s open-view kitchens, featuring made-from-scratch soups, fresh tossed salads, artisan pizzas, hot toasted sandwiches and desserts. Founded in 2004, Newk’s currently operates and franchises more than 100 units in 13 states and is gaining national attention for its accelerated growth and commitment to community. The newest Newk’s restaurants feature a “Generation 2” design, presenting a fresh, on-trend look for the brand while maintaining the company’s signature warmth and open-view kitchen. FastCasual.com named Newk’s among its Top 50 “Movers and Shakers” in 2015 and 2016, while Franchise Times magazine ranked Newk’s among its top “Fast and Serious” franchise brands for the second year in a row, and Technomic listed Newk’s in its Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report. Also recently, the brand was named among NRN’s Top 200 and Top 5 Fastest-Growing Chains, along with Restaurant Business’ Top 40 Fast-Casual Chains. For more information, visit Newks.com, join the Roundtable Club or follow Newk’s on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.