In business news, California shows continued strength in the franchise restaurant industry.

Nekter Juice Bar, a brand based in Santa Ana, set almost a decade ago to refashion the juice bar experience so that it more closely paralleled the powerful feeling generated by coffee bars. The brand has expanded to Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Utah, Colorado, and Washington State. By 2010, the firm hopes to have 425 locations churning out tasty, delicious, immunity- and metabolism-boosting offerings. Their franchise slogan for the new year: “Reset, Reenergize and Reboot.”

San Diegans are aware of Plant Power Fast Food, a healthy food chain that got its start in Ocean Beach. The idea is that plant-based meals are big-time now, with a critical mass of people looking to vegan meals to satisfy a growing societal hunger. In its first year the restaurant took in $1 million, and twice that the following year. The chain is opening a second restaurant in Encinitas – on the site of, of all things, a defunct Burger King!

People know Amy’s frozen meatless entrees, but now they are familiarizing themselves with Amy’s Drive-Thru, calling itself America’s first vegetarian fast-food chain. Based in Rohnert Park, north of San Francisco, Amy’s chose to open the flagship in Sonoma County.

One other new California franchise, Get Fried, is opening in Santa Clara. Its goal is somewhat the opposite direction dietetically as the three brands listed above: The menu focuses first on French fries, following the successes of Canada’s poutine shops and Holland’s fry cafes. The company plans to open franchises in the coming year in Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, Texas, and Cairo, Eygpt.

What do these emerging franchises have in common? They are all embarking on financial adventures in a competitive industry where it is essential to have astute legal guidance.

The Mazzarella has been providing food and other franchise ventures for many years. We understand the importance of proper formation, protection of intellectual property (like recipes), and the need to protect investments with sound contracts.

We salute these newcomers to the California franchise scene!