Palm Springs, CA
Blu Bryan opened up I Heart Mac and Cheese just over one year ago at 190 South Indian Canyon Drive. The business was greeted with cheers from the local community offering up an affordable fast casual dining concept specializing in customizable, made-to-order macaroni and cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches with other scrumptious dining options.
Renting the property at 190 South Indian Canyon Drive from the Agua Caliente Band Of Cahuilla Indians, Bryan invested a significant amount of funds to get the space up to code including adding air conditioning, water service, and building out the space to I Heart Mac & Cheese specifications. The franchise now has over 20 locations in 10 states and growing.
Bryan, born in Riverside County who moved to Palm Springs 6 years ago after living in San Francisco, has confirmed the Palm Springs location of I Heart Mac & Cheese, although paying off its initial debts in the store buildout, is profitable. He says the restaurant is slower during the day but has lines at night.
The most popular food items on the menu include the Lobster & White Truffle Mac and Cheese, Baked Mac & Cheese Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Buffalo Blue Mac & Cheese, and the Chicken Parmesan Mac & Cheese Bowl. In addition, the new Empanadas and Jalapeno Bacon Mac Bites on the menu are doing incredibly well. The Palm Springs location of I Heart Mac & Cheese is in the top sales category for the franchise for these new items.
While the restaurant is doing well, Blu Bryan 52 has decided to step away from running the business but vows it will continue on. His goal is to travel to Peru for a year and concentrate on travel and inner peace. He will be going on a 21 day ayahuasca retreat starting this week at the Arkana Spiritual Center and then a 3-4 month long term immersion plant dietas retreat at the same center. Afterwards he plans to volunteer and give back to the Arkana Spiritual Center in Peru for 6 months. Bryan says the whole experience will be documented with a website dedicated to his experience.
After deciding to retire from the restaurant business, Blu Bryan first put the I Heart Mac & Cheese location on Indian Canyon in Downtown Palm Springs up for sale but decided to take it off the market opting to give the business to its original 3-4 employees over the next year instead. How will that work out? The details are still being decided but the Franchise will continue to run as is.
Bryan says it is really important that the community supports the I Heart Mac & Cheese Palm Springs location throughout the next year stating that the future business owners, employees who have been with the restaurant since the beginning and who have earned this opportunity, are being groomed and mentored by some very talented local Palm Springs business owners such as Julie Montante, owner of 420 Lounge and board member of the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce.