Barberitos in Statesboro, Hinesville and Savannah all have a new owner. Greg Woolard, former CEO of Clyde’s Markets, acquired the three franchises last week. Woolard is currently serving as President of Baldino’s USA, a company he acquired last year before his family decided to sell Clyde’s Markets to Colonial Oil.
Barberitos is a Southwestern Grill and Cantina which was founded in 2000 in Athens, Georgia by Downing Barber who continues to serve as CEO of the company. Barber’s goal was to introduce the flavorful, healthier foods of the Southwest to all of America.
Barber has grown the company to 50 locations offering 100 percent farm fresh ingredients in every restaurant. Even though many more Barberitos have opened since their founding, their food is exactly how it’s always been: fresh, locally sourced and made-to-order. Delicious doesn’t happen by accident. They work with local farmers and suppliers to ensure the freshest ingredients possible every day.
All Barberitos beef is pasture-raised. Their chicken is hormone-free. Their cheese and sour cream are 100 percent natural. They never use any added preservatives or fats. They pride themselves on the fact that none of their restaurants have a freezer or microwave. This ensures that every ingredient is as fresh as possible.
Woolard does not predict any significant changes in staffing or operations but does plan to freshen up all three locations aesthetically. He also wants to become more focused on giving back and engaging in the communities that they serve.
“We entered the Statesboro market over 30 years ago with Flash Foods, which later become Clyde’s Market and we are excited to still be operating businesses in Statesboro,” Woolard said. “It is a great time to be investing in Statesboro and we are looking forward to growing both Barberitos and Baldinos Giant Jersey Sub restaurants.”
Woolard and his family sold their Clyde’s Market convenience store chain, which had 36 locations, to Colonial Oil in 2017. Colonial is in the process of rebranding the stores to EnMarket’s, the flagship brand of Colonial Oil.
Gene Edwards who was the CFO of Clydes, has joined Woolard in the restaurant business as CEO. Joey Smith, also a former Clyde’s employee is continuing on with Woolard as director of operations.
Woolard first explored the stand-alone restaurant operations as CEO of Clyde’s Market when they opened three restaurants named the Rusty Pig. His brother-in-law Neal Anderson and sister Cindy have acquired the Rusty Pigs and continue to operate two of the restaurants. The flagship restaurant is in Glennville and the second location is in Richmond Hill.
“Several years ago, a lessee who operated a Baldinos in a Clyde’s Market in Richmond Hill decided he wanted to retire and offered us the opportunity to take over the franchise,” Woolard said. "Once we took over operations, we really fell in love with the concept and decided to open a free standing Baldinos in Statesboro in 2017.”
It was through these experiences that Woolard became friends with Baldinos founder Bill Baer. This relationship positioned Woolard to purchase Baldinos USA in 2017. Baldinos USA is now headquartered in Glennville, in the former Clyde’s Market corporate office.
“I really like the Baldinos concept and looking forward to bringing new energy to the franchise,” Woolard said. “My team and I are looking forward to expanding and growing the Baldinos franchise.”
It is great to see excellent businessmen like Greg Woolard increase their investment and commitment to Statesboro. I agree with Woolard, this is a wonderful time to be doing business in Statesboro. If his history is any indicator, we can expect great things from Woolard and his company in our community.