The art of the sandwich: Wrap City set to open first franchise locationsBy RYAN LESSARD
Union Leader Correspondent
May 25. 2018 8:48PM
LONDONDERRY — The first Wrap City opened in a Nashua Road strip mall in 2015, another two years later in Amherst, and now founders Peter Ackerman and Gregg Ryan are about to see two franchise stores open.
The new franchise in Tilton is located just past the outlets across from the Hampton Inn on a previously empty lot and is set to open next week. Another Wrap City franchise will open in a former Subway location at Epping’s Brickyard Square by the end of June.
The sandwich shops offers a big menu with a diverse selection of wraps, sandwiches and flatbreads. They offer Reubens, BLTs, cheesesteaks, Cuban sandwiches and vegetarian wraps.
Ten percent of the proceeds from one of their sandwiches — “The Warrior” — goes to the Robert Irvine Foundation, which provides direct assistance to veterans and first responders. Each store also has a wooden flag from Flags of Valor, a veteran-owned company.
“We recognized there was a certain gap in the sandwich concepts that were out there,” Ryan said.
He said most sandwich shops offer the same handful of basic ingredients, and those that do make unique or speciality sandwiches often don’t have a lot of other options.
Ackerman, who owns two restaurants in Boston, including Renegades Pub, said the Wrap City concept was meant to be scalable and easy to duplicate.
“The plan all along was to build a franchisable model,” Ackerman said.
The original location in Londonderry began as a rehabilitation of a sub shop there called the Wrap Shack. After months of wrangling with the landlord over unpaid rent, the prior tenant stripped the business and disappeared, Ryan said.
Ackerman and Ryan entered into a lease agreement and decided to create the Wrap City concept they’d been discussing for years. They currently sell about 3,000 sandwiches a week out of Londonderry and Amherst. Each store sees about 1,000 customers a week. They also make hundreds of sandwiches and wraps through their catering business.
The business partners invested about $40,000 and a lot of time and personal labor to open the first store, and took out a $100,000 loan from Provident Bank in Bedford to open the second store, they said. Since then, they’ve reinvested about another $15,000 in Londonderry to remodel and upgrade equipment.
Ryan said the concept is unique enough to be located next to anything out there in the market and compete. They’re eyeing Portsmouth, south Nashua and parts of Massachusetts for future locations.
Franchising rules are being ironed out, but the barrier to entry is low, Ackerman and Ryan said. The cost is in the range of $120,000 to $400,000, with a franchise fee of $25,000, they said.
The company also makes its own potato chips and has begun selling them wholesale to a few grocery stores and delicatessens, Ryan said.
The hope is to grow beyond New England.
“We want Wrap City to be a national and international brand,” said Ackerman.