SOURCE: Market Pulse

January 09, 2008 08:30 ET

Market Pulse Breaking News Alert for Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2008: SPKL -- Spicy Pickle™ Announces 5 Store Franchise Agreement in Chicago Area and Increases the Total Number of Franchises It Has Sold to 110!

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

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwire - January 9, 2008) - Market Pulse News Alert for this AM, Stocks to Watch are: Spicy Pickle® Franchising, Inc. (OTCBB: SPKL), Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX), ISIS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ISIS) and Apollo Group Inc. (NASDAQ: APOL).

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, 35 restaurants are opened and operating, 8 restaurants are under construction, and there are over 50 more sites that are under area development agreements. The company hopes to open 38 to 40 more restaurants in 12 states by the end of 2007. 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 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 Tuesday's bell announcing the sale of a multi unit restaurant development to a new franchise developer in the greater Chicago metropolitan area, increasing the total number of franchises the Company has sold to 110! Investors should be watching this one closely!

Spicy Pickle® fast casual restaurants (OTCBB: SPKL) announced the sale of a multi unit restaurant development to a new franchise developer in the greater Chicago metropolitan area, increasing the total number of franchises the company has sold to 110.

A new franchisee has entered into a franchise and development agreement to open the first Spicy Pickle™ Restaurants in the suburbs of Chicago including Oak Brook, Naperville, Lemont and Orland Park. The new franchisee learned about Spicy Pickle from visiting the existing restaurant at 2312 Lincoln Ave., in Chicago's Lincoln Park district.

Marc Geman, CEO of Spicy Pickle™ Franchising, Inc. commented, "We were waiting for the right franchisee to help continue the development of Spicy Pickle in the Chicago market. Obviously the Greater Chicago Metropolitan area can support a large number of restaurants and centralizing this franchisee's efforts in the western and southwestern suburbs leaves plenty of room for continued growth in this market."

Mr. Geman further commented, "Markets in large metropolitan areas like Chicago support huge numbers of the typical Spicy Pickle customer. However the very size of the market and competition makes it challenging to get brand recognition. Our non-preservative meats and interesting flavor combinations in our sandwiches along with the customer's ability to build their own sandwich from high quality ingredients with toppings and spreads from around the world sets us apart from the everyday sandwich shop and provides a delicious and healthy alternative for customers seeking quality food. Our new franchisee will deliver that to these markets and we are confident will generate further interest in our concept for the Chicago area."

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 franchise locations now open across 12 states and many more in development nationwide. For more about Spicy Pickle®, including franchise information and inquiries, visit http://www.spicypickle.com.

Stocks in the news and acting well as of late include: Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX), ISIS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ISIS) and Apollo Group Inc. (NASDAQ: APOL).

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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 been compensated 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 two hundred thousand shares of stock in Spicy Pickle Franchising, Inc. for proceeds totaling one hundred ninety thousand seven 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. Market-Pulse.com and Market Pulse Breaking News Alert are owned by Market Pulse LLC.

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