SOURCE: Market Pulse

September 28, 2007 08:30 ET

Market Pulse Breaking News Alert for Friday, September 28, 2007: SPKL -- Spicy Pickle Announces New Franchise Signing in the Key State of Florida and Expansion Reaches 15 States!

NOTE TO EDITORS: The Following Is an Investment Opinion Being Issued by Market Pulse.

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwire - September 28, 2007) - Market Pulse News Alert for this AM, Stocks to Watch are: Spicy Pickle Franchising, Inc. (OTCBB: SPKL), KongZhong Corp. (NASDAQ: KONG), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Strata Oil & Gas Inc. (OTCBB: SOIGF).

Investors need to be watching Spicy Pickle Franchising, Inc. (OTCBB: SPKL) this AM! Spicy Pickle® is engaged in the business of marketing, franchising and operating Spicy Pickle restaurants located throughout the United States. Spicy Pickle is a fast casual restaurant where fresh, made-to-order culinary-inspired panini, submarine style sandwiches, pizzetti (Neapolitan thin crust gourmet pizza), salads and soups with a large international variety of toppings and spreads are served using fresh baked breads and high quality ingredients. Spicy Pickle locations and marketing efforts are directed principally to white collar administrative, managerial, professional, and sales personnel who are willing to pay a little more for better flavor profiles. The company's menu items appeal to diners of all ages and preferences and will soon accommodate breakfast and dinner segments. Spicy Pickle recently added its new catering program, featuring the chain's culinary-inspired subs and panini sandwiches. Spicy Pickle is a unique franchise opportunity. The company offers franchise agreements for single and multiple store owners but prefers single franchisees that can develop multiple stores in their market. These franchisees sign development agreements for multiple stores in a defined geographic area and grant them the exclusive rights to the development area. These include agreements for developers that plan on owning and operating a large number of restaurants over a larger territory (state or larger). As of September 1, 2007, the company had sold just under 100 franchises and developments. Of the franchises sold, 26 restaurants are opened and operating, 14 restaurants are under construction, and there are over 50 more sites that are under area development agreements. The company hopes to open 40 more restaurants in 2008. The company continues to interview prospective franchisees and relies on the cash deposits from the franchise sales as well as royalty fees from the existing stores to support the expenses of the business. The $70 billion fast-casual segment of the restaurant industry is growing fast. Spicy Pickle Franchising is well-positioned to continue to grow their market position in existing and new markets. Spicy Pickle Franchising, Inc. has sufficient capital to carry it forward as they have recently raised $4.5 million. The company's five year plan includes opening 300 stores. The most recent openings to come are in Boulder, CO, Colorado Springs, CO, Ft. Collins Colorado, Mississippi, Indianapolis and Arizona. The company would like to see more development areas like the one in Indianapolis that includes 10 stores or the one in southern California that includes 12 stores. The royalties create a continuous revenue stream and shareholder wealth. A significant amount of value is created for the company with each new franchise added. Spicy Pickle is poised to become a significant player in the fast-casual segment of the restaurant industry! Spicy Pickle just had excellent news out in a press release after Thursday's bell announcing it has signed its first franchisee in the state of Florida! The company also announced this marks the 15th state in which there will be a Spicy Pickle Restaurant! Investors should be watching this one closely!

Spicy Pickle Franchising, Inc. (OTCBB: SPKL) announced it has signed its first franchisee in the state of Florida.

A new franchisee with restaurant experience in another concept has entered into a franchise agreement to open the first Spicy Pickle Restaurant in the Ocala/Gainesville region of central Florida.

The Spicy Pickle real estate acquisition department is in the Ocala/Gainsville area now reviewing demographic studies and identifying potential locations.

Marc Geman, CEO of Spicy Pickle Franchising, Inc. commented, "We are excited to have our first franchisee in the state of Florida. The state of Florida can support a significant number of stores, and having our first location could act as a springboard to additional franchisees and help us penetrate other regions within the state."

Mr. Geman further commented, "Much like our very successful Boulder, Colorado location, the Ocala/Gainsville area offers a similar demographic with a high concentration of University, Medical, and Research facilities. This also marks the 15th state in which there will be a Spicy Pickle Restaurant."

By the end of 2007, Spicy Pickle anticipates opening approximately 14 more units, bringing its network to 40 restaurants in 13 states. Nearly 50 additional franchise development agreements have also been signed.

In addition to its franchise activity, Spicy Pickle currently has a breakfast menu in test, potentially opening a new daypart for the chain. The company is also in the process of building a major commissary in Denver to cost-effectively supply its local restaurants with panini, sandwich breads and sweet treats, baked daily according to Spicy Pickle's high standards. All other units nationwide will continue to bake their panini and sandwich breads in-house. The Denver commissary is expected to open by the end of the year.

About Spicy Pickle:

Founded in 1999, Spicy Pickle Franchising, Inc. (OTCBB: SPKL) serves high quality meats and fine artisan breads, baked fresh daily, along with a wide choice of eight different cheeses, twenty-two different toppings, and fourteen proprietary spreads to create healthy and delicious panini and sub sandwiches with flavors from around the world. As a leading "fast-casual" concept, Spicy Pickle offers menu items that are far beyond traditional fast food -- but without the price point of casual dining. The hallmark of a Spicy Pickle restaurant is quality, service and an enjoyable atmosphere. The company is headquartered in Denver, Colorado, with franchised locations now open across nine states and many more in development nationwide. For more about Spicy Pickle, including franchise information and inquiries, visit

Stocks in the news and acting well as of late include: KongZhong Corp. (NASDAQ: KONG), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Strata Oil & Gas Inc. (OTCBB: SOIGF).

Information contained herein is the opinion of ("MP") and is intended to be used strictly for informational purposes. You should be aware that MP attempts to assure itself of the accuracy of the information contained in the analyses it publishes. In this regard, MP does, at times, rely on the accuracy of information supplied to it by the companies which are the subject of MP's analyses and/or parties related to those companies. MP also relies on the accuracy and integrity of information that is contained in company press releases and reports filed with the SEC. The companies mentioned in this publication have not approved the content or timing of the information being published unless otherwise noted.

MP, because it relies on information supplied by various third parties disclaims any responsibility for the accuracy of such information. Any investor considering making an investment in any security which has been the subject of a MP analysis or opinion should, before making any such investment, consult with his/her market professional and/or do his/her own independent research regarding the company which is the subject of an MP opinion, recommendation or analysis. Information regarding companies which MP has opined upon is normally available from many sources including the subject company's filings with the SEC and various press releases issued by the company.

You should be aware that MP is often compensated for issuing analyses, recommendations or opinions concerning particular companies. Its opinion is therefore not unbiased and you should consider this factor when evaluating MP's statements regarding a company. MP has been compensated thirty thousand dollars from Spicy Pickle Franchising, Inc. In addition, MP has pending three hundred thousand restricted shares of Spicy Pickle Franchising, Inc. from the company. In 2006, MP acquired two hundred thousand shares of Spicy Pickle Franchising, Inc. directly from the company in a private offering for fifty thousand dollars. These shares were subsequently included in a registration statement filed by the company with the SEC. To date, MP has sold one hundred thousand shares of stock in Spicy Pickle Franchising, Inc. for proceeds totaling seventy nine thousand four hundred dollars. MP's officers and directors reserve the right to buy additional shares of the companies discussed in this opinion and may profit in the event those shares rise in value. When MP receives free trading shares as compensation for a profiled company, MP may sell part or all of any such shares during the period in which MP is performing such services. and Market Pulse Breaking News Alert are owned by Market Pulse LLC.

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