SOURCE: Due North Holdings

Due North Holdings

March 01, 2016 10:24 ET

Scottsdale-Based Successful Franchising Family Partnering With Japan-Based Hotland Co.

Goal to Open 1,000 Stores Together by 2020

SCOTTSDALE, AZ--(Marketwired - March 01, 2016) - Due North Holdings is excited to announce a new dynamic partnership with Hotland Co., Ltd. The joint venture, named Pacific Restaurant Partners, will build, operate and franchise quick service restaurant brands in the mainland United States & Canada that are a combination of Hotland's concepts tailored for the US, and the Joint Venture's new brands developed internally and through acquisition. Pacific Restaurant Partners plans to open 1,000 restaurants through organic growth and acquisitions by the end of 2020. 

Kevin Blackwell, CEO of Due North Holdings, explains, "I am incredibly confident in the strength of the partnership we've created to reach the ambitious goal we've set. I have the utmost respect for Hotland's CEO, Morio Sase, and the impressive organization he has built. We share the same passion for quality food delivered by excellent customer service."

Due North Holdings specializes in restaurant operations and franchising, retail service franchise offerings as well as consulting on brand and product expansion (domestic and international).

Kevin Blackwell founded Kahala Corp., an international Franchisor of quick service restaurant brands. At the time he sold his interest in Kahala, the company had more than ten brands, including Cold Stone Creamery, Blimpie Subs, TacoTime, Samurai Sam's and others. Kahala grew to more than 3,000 units operating in 23 countries.

"As a resident of Japan for nearly two years, I am excited about the opportunity to bring fresh and unique concepts from Asia to the United States as well as other international markets," adds Berekk Blackwell, President of Pacific Restaurant Partners. "Hotland is a great partner and we are thrilled to start this journey together."

Hotland is a publicly traded Japan-based company, which operates quick service restaurants in Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Thailand, and Cambodia and is the Master Licensee of AZ-based Cold Stone Creamery, and CA-based Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf for Japan. Founded in 1988, Hotland now owns 8 brands in 669 locations in 7 countries.

Morio Sase, Hotland CEO and Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year of Japan, states, "We are excited to have the opportunity to launch this joint venture with Mr. Blackwell [Kevin] who has had so many great achievements in the U.S. and beyond. We believe that we will be able to have a major impact on expanding Japanese food culture, which we've built, into the U.S. market together."

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About Due North Holdings
Due North Holdings, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, builds, operates and franchises retail brands across multiple industries. With numerous domestic and international brand acquisitions in the future, Due North plans to have 1,000 restaurant locations open by the end of 2020 under the Pacific Restaurant Partners joint venture. For more information, visit

About Hotland
Hotland Co., Ltd. operates quick service restaurants including Cold Stone Creamery and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Japan, and restaurants under the brands of Croissant Taiyaki, Gindaco, Gin'noan and Ogamaya, among others, in Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, and Cambodia. The company was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. For more information, visit

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