Mel Carter and Kevin “Coach K” Lee, prominent music executives and entrepreneurs, are expanding into the food market by purchasing 32 different Bojangles establishments. The two are co-owners of Melanbo, a franchise development company that has signed a deal with the popular restaurant, making them the largest Black-controlled franchisee in the restaurant’s history.
Carter and Coach K will collaborate with Bojangles, the iconic restaurant known for its chicken, biscuits, and tea, as well as its ownership group Melanbo. In addition to its 18 existing franchises in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, the agreement calls for the development of 14 new franchisees in Atlanta.
Melanbo is now the largest Black-controlled franchisee in the Bojangles’ system, with a total of 32 locations as a result of the acquisition and size of the multi-unit development deal. Both parties are excited about the collaboration.
“Over the last few years, we have been aggressively seeking opportunities to grow our footprint in Atlanta, and we are thrilled to have reached an agreement with two influential voices in the city’s community,” said Patricia Halpin, Vice President of Franchise Growth at Bojangles, according to Yahoo News. “Mel and Coach K bring a unique perspective and energy to our network of operators that will be extremely beneficial to the brand’s growth going forward.”
Despite his fame in the music industry, Carter, who migrated to the United States with his family when he was 12, said owning a franchise was a dream come true for him.
“Immigrating from Trinidad and Tobago, it was always my dream to be an owner of a major restaurant franchise,” said Carter. “Being the largest black owner of a QSR Franchise alongside Coach K at an establishment as great as Bojangles brings me great honor and I am deeply blessed.”
Coach K, who is a well-known hip-hop mogul, also expressed his gratitude about this opportunity.
“I’m proud to do this with Mel and to keep pushing forward Black entrepreneurship,” said Coach K. “We built our way up in music and it’s exciting to branch out in so many ways and to join forces with the No. 1 Black-owned franchise.”