Sweet Peppers Deli was an idea that was born from years of restaurant experience.
To be sure, the franchise company is Sweet Peppers Franchise Systems, LLC, a Mississippi limited liability company — but it all started with Mom. Mom always made the best food. Anyway, Myrrl Bean and her partner, Harvey, got together in the restaurant business in 1982. Her two sons, John and Bernard, later joined the fledgling team, and things really started cooking.
Myrrl’s inspiration and direction helped the Bean family grow their collective skills into a major force in restaurant development in Mississippi. They began with Harveys, an upscale traditional casual dining chain of three restaurants, and expanded to a group of nine restaurants.
Meanwhile, in 1984, Robin Fant purchased Bulldog Deli, a tiny restaurant in Starkville, Mississippi with only 8 tables. He quickly redefined the deli’s concept to include a more upbeat atmosphere and a larger menu — a mix of New York Style and southern charm. Fondly known as “The Deli”, the restaurant successfully attracted a wide audience of Starkville customers from the businessman’s lunch to the collegiate date.
In 1996, Bulldog Deli moved into a renovated and expanded gas station. The new building tipped its hat to the past with a pair of working garage doors and the station’s original brick. Thus, a piece of Sweet Peppers’ signature style was born.
Fant and the Bean family formed a partnership in 1997 to fine tune the Bulldog Deli concept, and opened the first Sweet Peppers Deli in Columbus, Mississippi. The new deli was so successful the group decided to open a second location on Main Street in Tupelo two years later. In 2003, the company refined the fast-casual concept to accommodate a food court atmosphere, and opened Sweet Peppers Express in Barnes Crossing Mall in Tupelo.
Dyersburg, Tennessee, Ridgeland, Mississippi, Laurel, Mississippi, and Gulf Shores, Alabama, all opened locations of Sweet Peppers Deli in 2008.
In 2009, a Sweet Peppers Deli in Athens gave Georgia it’s first taste of our deli concept. Two years later, the Cotton District Grill relocated into the renovated Borden Plant in Starkville, taking the new Central Station Grill moniker.
In 2012, a Second Chattanooga Sweet Peppers location opened. That same year, Columbus’s Jackson Square Grill received a facelift to give all three Grill locations the same modern décor established at the Fairpark Grill location in Tupelo.
In 2013, the restaurant that started the franchise, Bulldog Deli, changed name to Sweet Peppers Deli.
The franchise is still growing with Sweet Peppers Deli locations scheduled to open soon in Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, Florida, South Carolina and North Carolina.
You can get the rest of the story from our franchise documents, but you get the picture. It’s all family oriented — so welcome to the family!
Are you still with us?
The Bean family and their team of partners know the restaurant business. That’s the real point. Experience, hard work, success, Sweet Peppers — It’s all in the family. And along the way, the Beans have attracted great associates and enthusiastic employees. They’ve built a solid team of food professionals that you will get to know and work with, in your own Sweet Peppers Deli franchise.
This isn’t a “start-up” franchise with the owner still cooking in the kitchen — it’s an experienced, professional restaurant organization with all the trimmings. From accounting and information services, to the corporate executive chef and training team, to the operations and support staff, Sweet Peppers is prepared for you. More than twenty years of restaurant experience invested into a proven, fast-casual concept is offered as a “new” franchise to you. That’s another point — the fast-casual segment is the star of the food industry — just like Sweet Peppers is the star of the Bean family restaurants. At Sweet Peppers, our food is the star, but we have a great supporting cast to work with you, and we’d like you to meet them personally.
Since 1982 our restaurant concepts and markets have evolved and expanded, but our goals have remained the same. Simply put, we want to give you great food, great service, and great memories every time you walk into one of our restaurants. Whether you are ordering prime rib, buffalo wings, or a muffaletta, we want you to not only be satisfied, but overwhelmed by your dining experience. As our valued customer, we owe much of our success to your continued patronage. When visiting Sweet Peppers Deli, Harveys, Jackson Square Grill, Fairpark Grill, or Central Station Grill, ask for one of us and tell us what you think. We are always happy to meet the people behind our success.
Thanks again for Eating With Us!