Boloco (from Boston Local Company) is the brand name of an American chain of restaurants that serves burritos, wraps, salads, shakes and smoothies. Burritos on the menu represent culinary traditions from around the world, for example Mexican, Japanese, Thai, and Mediterranean cuisines.
Boloco serves naturally-raised meats and chicken that are free of antibiotics and added growth hormones and either grass-fed or vegetarian fed. It also serves organic tofu and offers burritos in three sizes (Original, Small, and Mini). As part of their Certified Green status with the Green Restaurant Association (one of the first fast-casual chains in the US to gain such a distinction in 2007), they also removed all Styrofoam from all restaurants in 2008 and converted to corn-based smoothie cups and compostable bowls, among other things.
Originally known as The Wrap, Boloco was incorporated in 1996 by co-founders Adam Liebman, Gregg Harris, and Jason Hutchinson as a wrap and smoothie restaurant, later joined by John Pepper in 1998. In 1997, the first restaurant, initially called "Under Wraps", was opened in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood. In 1998 the company acquired a competing two-restaurant business with locations in Harvard Square and Cleveland Circle. All three locations were re-branded under the new name, "The Wrap and Smoothie Bar" (selected via a customer contest in late 1997) In 2000, they merged with a four-unit juice company called "Jera's Juice", and new Wrap locations were also opened that year at Northeastern University and on Newbury Street. In 2003 locations at Children's Hospital and Pearl Street celebrated grand openings, and in 2004 locations at Federal Street in Boston's Financial District and in Hanover, New Hampshire at Dartmouth College opened. Jera's Juice was phased out by 2003 with no locations surviving, however a version of the swirl design which was part of the Jera's Juice logo was incorporated into the Boloco logo.
Late in 2004, still operating as The Wrap, the founders sold The Wrap brand (all intangible assets) for the purpose of franchising outside of New England to a group of Ohio-based entrepreneurs, Nicar Enterprises, who had significant experience in building national franchise organizations. While the relationship lasted only two years and both parties took part in re-branding The Wrap to Boloco, Nicar built 8 locations in states across the US before the Boston-based founders repurchased all of the sold assets in late 2006. At the time of the repurchase, the franchised locations were renamed "Currito". As of May 2010, Currito has 12 franchised units in 9 states. While Currito and Boloco still have some similar menu items and trade dress left over from the 2 year relationship, and both parties are permitted to do so, they are formally separated and operate 100% independently.
The founders felt a name change was in order mainly because the word "wrap" over the years had come to mean something that was typically cold, full of lettuce and crunchy, refrigerated ingredients and often wrapped in a pita bread with a packet of mayonnaise and mustard on the side. In convenience stores, wraps were often found in the cooler with cellophane wrapper around it. The Wrap had always been about hot, grilled, fresh ingredients wrapped in steamed tortillas; more like a burrito, less like a wrap. "Inspired Burritos" was tagged by a friend of one of the Nicar partners.
Other reasons for the change were that "The Wrap" name was too generic to be protected legally and that "Boloco" was not a name shared by any other entity at the time and therefore easier to distinguish from the many wrap concepts.
Boloco is popular with the large student population of Boston and has locations near the campuses of Boston College, Northeastern University, Berklee College of Music, Tufts University, Emerson College, University of Vermont, Dartmouth College, and Harvard University. In 2007, Boloco announced that they would only be using free-range eggs.
- ^ Levitt, Jonathan. Folding pattern, The Boston Globe. Published April 8, 2008. Retrieved April 10, 2008.
- ^ Keohane, Joe. Burrito Overload, Boston. Published December 2007. Retrieved April 10, 2008.
- ^ Butrymowicz, Sarah. Boloco beats Pizza Days in survey, The Tufts Daily. Published November 15, 2007. Retrieved April 10, 2008.
- ^ Boloco goes "cage-free", The Boston Globe. Published October 16, 2007. Retrieved April 10, 2008.
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