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Jan Moore: Russell Rosengart builds his empire of Sonics
Jan Moore Mug Web
Jan Moore

           As thrilled as I may appear to be when a new business or restaurant chooses to locate here – trust me, I am equally or more than thrilled when a local “has done good.” And I assure you, this local has done more than “good.”     

            With little fanfare and recognition, Statesboro resident Russell Rosengart has quietly amassed an “empire” of 12 Sonic Drive In restaurants. Rosengart is a Statesboro native and graduate of Mercer University in Macon. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Rosengart (as an adult) and watching him succeed.

            Rosengart is a few years younger than I, but his brother Robert (Rosengart) and I went through school together – from Miss Pound’s kindergarten through Statesboro High School. Let me just say that Robert Rosengart is no slouch either as he is a radiologist in Macon, and one of the most delightfully intelligent people that I have ever known.

I think that is why I have enjoyed getting to know his younger brother so much.

            Russell Rosengart, like his brother, is a throw back to the days of hard work and determination. If you are looking for Rosengart, you won’t find him on the golf course or fishing. You will have to go to one of his restaurants where he is leading by example.

            Always looking for a good investment, this tireless entrepreneur recently acquired four Sonic restaurants in Valdosta, Ga. Rosengart now has two Sonics in Statesboro, one in Vidalia, one in Swainsboro, four in Albany, and  four in Valdosta. Rosengart opened his first Sonic in Statesboro on South Main Street in 1992.

            “I am always looking to expand if the numbers work,” Rosengart said. “First the numbers have to be right, and then I have to make sure that we can put the proper personnel in place. It just has to be the right situation.”

            Rosengart purchased the four Valdosta restaurants from a franchise owner based in Texas. Rosengart also said the Farmers and Merchants Bank in Statesboro has been a key partner in supporting his growth.

            “They worked with me for several months helping me structure the acquisition of the Valdosta restaurants,” Rosengart said. “They have been a tremendous partner, and I am very grateful to them for what they have done.”

            Farmers and Merchants executive vice president Bill Doxey is equally as complimentary of Rosengart.

            “For a number of years, Farmers and Merchants Bank has had the privilege of being Russell’s banking partner,” Doxey said. “He is a hard working, businessman with a proven track record of successful business acumen and community involvement. At Farmers and Merchants Bank, we have been assisting small businesses like Russell's for 60 years. We are excited for Russell and look forward to his continued success.”

            What are Rosengart’s plans for the future? It shouldn’t surprise anyone that he is always looking for a “good deal” and adding additional restaurants seems to be inevitable.

            “Nationally, Sonic is one of the best franchise restaurants that you can own,” he said. “So if the management personnel is available and the financial backing is there, I will strike a deal if the right opportunity arises.”

            Until next week, I bid you au revoir.

            Got a scoop for Jan? Call her at (912) 489-9463 or e-mail her at

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