Two Chicago-based brands, Buona and The Original Rainbow Cone, are opening their first co-branded locations outside of Illinois in Tennessee.
Led by Jesse Alvarez, the former owner of Buffalo Wings and Rings, and Tony Vendramin, a real estate developer, the Buona /Rainbow Cone locations will open next year in Nolensville, Franklin, Spring Hill and the Smyrna communities. They’ll have double-lane drive-thrus, dining rooms and mobile ordering pick-up zones.
“We are thrilled to join the Buona family and be the first dual-concept partners in their exciting franchise program,” Alvarez said in a company press release. “I’ve loved Buona for many years dating back to my roots in Chicago and can’t wait to bring it and Rainbow Cone to our Nashville neighbors.”
Buona was founded in 1981, by Joe and Peggy Buonavolanto, who serve an Italian beef sandwich with all-natural beef with no preservatives, seasoned with its family recipe and layered on Italian bread. The company has 26 locations in the Chicago area
The Original Rainbow Cone was founded in 1926 by “Grandpa Joe” Sapp, who was never satisfied with just one ice cream flavor and stacked five flavors on a single cone. The local tradition has since expanded to kiosks and trucks throughout the Chicagoland area in addition to its original Southside location, according to the release.
“We are excited and humbled to have Jesse and Tony bring our family recipes to the Nashville Area,” Joe Buonavolanto Ill, a third-generation family member and VP of franchise operations at Buona, said in the release. “We couldn’t have chosen better partners and can’t wait for Nashville natives to experience our Italian Roast Beef Sandwich and Rainbow Cone.”
Buona will hold a range of events in the Nashville community including a Buona, “Beef it Up Truck” tour, grand opening festivities, and giveaways to alert the region of the Tennessee location. The franchise partnership program is open to entrepreneurs and investors interested in multi-unit opportunities. Initial investment figures range from $1.5 to $2.6 million.