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Covington Based Ballard Brands, Investors Purchase Jose Garces Group – Celebrity Chef Garces Special Guest At 7th Annual Gold Medal Chefs Gala

Jul 30th, 2018

Ballard Brands

Covington Based Ballard Brands, Investors Purchase Jose Garces Group – Celebrity Chef Garces Special Guest At 7th Annual Gold Medal Chefs Gala

Leslie T. Snadowsky | July 30, 2018

The owners of a New Orleans company staple are expanding their restaurant holdings to include several Latin-American concepts in Philadelphia. Brothers Paul, Steven and Scott Ballard of Ballard Brands, the Covington-based restaurant and hospitality group with brands such as PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans, WOW Café, and New Orleans Roast Coffee & Tea, recently purchased Garces Group of Philadelphia through 3BM1, a partnership with David Maser, a Philadelphia attorney and investor, and Ronnie Artigues, Ballard Brands’ general counsel. Garces Group restaurants and catering companies were founded by Chef Jose Garces, an Iron Chef, and James Beard Award winner.

Amada, Tinto, Village Whiskey, The Olde Bar, JG Domestic, Volvér, and their full-service catering division, Garces Events. Chef Garces remains in a leadership position as Chief Culinary Officer. Ronnie Artigues will serve as CEO of the Philadelphia-based operations.

“Chef Jose is a culinary expert who brings a renowned reputation and vision to our team—and we’re thrilled for the new partnership,” said Scott Ballard, co-founder at Ballard Brands. “We look forward to exploring new ideas and expansion in Louisiana, Philadelphia and beyond.

The Ballards founded Ballard Brands in 2001 after years of owning and operating retail beverage franchises. Since then, Ballard Brands has opened locations in 30 states and three countries. With the addition of the Garces restaurants, the Ballard portfolio will include 165 locations and about 1,450 employees.

“I look forward to working with the Ballard team to continue building on the success we’ve seen over the years at our restaurants and to identify new concepts that will excite our customers,” Garces said. “New Orleans is one of the culinary capitals of the world, so I’m excited to see what the future holds.”

“This is a truly exciting endeavor for our staff and customers,” said Steven Ballard, co-founder of Ballard Brands. “We see this acquisition as an opportunity to expand our unique, flavorful offerings to not only a new region but also to learn from the high-end culinary and service expertise Chef Jose brings to the table. We also see opportunities to introduce Chef’s rich Latin-American roots and concepts to New Orleans’ diverse culinary scene.”

“Partnering with Garces Group was a strategic move for our company and our long-term vision to offer a full suite of hospitality brands focused on creating memorable moments for our customer through unique flavors and outstanding service,” said Paul Ballard, co-founder of Ballard Brands.
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The Louisiana Hospitality Foundation will host its seventh annual Gold Medal Chefs Gala and Hospitality Awards on Wednesday, Aug. 15, at the La Nouvelle Orleans Ballroom inside the Morial New Orleans Convention Center, 900 Convention Center Blvd. More than 600 attendees will enjoy an evening of culinary delights featuring a cocktail hour, a five-course seated dinner, silent and live auctions and an industry awards presentation. 
This year’s slate of Louisiana-sourced “Gold Medal Chefs” includes Chef Jana Billiot – Restaurant R’evolution, Chef Scot Craig – Katie’s Restaurant and Francesca, Chef Michael Gulotta – Maypop and MoPho, Chef Carl Schaubhut – DTB, Chef Amy Sins – Langlois. 

The gala will also feature special guest and celebrity Chef Jose Garces of the Garces Restaurant Group who will prepare one of the evening’s dinner courses.
“The Foundation is excited to showcase such a recognized chef, father, farmer, food and drink lover, restaurateur, James Beard Award winner, author and Iron Chef,” said David Blitch, president, and co-founder of the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation. “Chef Garces, combined with the talents of our amazing Louisiana chefs, will provide the best gala dinner this industry has ever enjoyed while celebrating our Foundation’s important work in the community."

Tables and tickets are on sale now here