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Austin-based Torchy's Tacos announced on Friday a new fundraising round and plans to double its store count by 2024.
The deal includes additions to the company's ownership group, according to a press release.
Global Atlantic, a private equity firm that first invested in Torchy's in 2017 and is the majority shareholder, is now joined by D1 Capital Partners, T. Rowe Price, Lone Pine Capital and XN. Torchy's founder Michael Rypka and members of the company's original ownership group have reinvested as individuals.
Bloomberg reported that the deal is worth about $400 million.
"Pairing these four firms with our existing partner General Atlantic, we feel that we have assembled a premier ownership group that will allow us to accelerate our growth and write the next chapter in Torchy's history," Torchy's CEO G.J. Hart said in a statement.
Torchy's also plans to expand to 10 additional states over the next four years.
"We admire the management team's deep operational experience and commitment to providing an original and differentiated experience," Torchy's Chairman and General Atlantic's Global Head of Consumer Andrew Crawford said in a statement. "We believe their vision will continue to resonate across a wide-ranging demographic of guests, geographies and footprints as Torchy's expands across the United States."
Rypka, a former corporate chef, founded Torchy's Tacos out of a food truck on South First Street in 2006. Today, the chain has 83 locations across seven states: Arkansa, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.
This year alone, Torchy's opened 12 new locations, including one in Round Rock, and expanded to three additional states.
The company is known for its "damn good tacos," such as the Trailer Park (fried chicken and green chiles with the option to made it "trashy" with the addition of queso) and the Brushfire (jerk chicken and grilled jalapenos with mango and sour cream).
Matthew McConaughey is reportedly weighing a run for Texas governor in 2022.
The Austin resident and Oscar winner has been "quietly making calls to influential people in Texas political circles, including a deep-pocketed moderate Republican and energy CEO" as he decides whether to run, according to Politico.
McConaughey said a gubernatorial run is "a true consideration" while on a March episode of Houston's "The Balanced Voice" podcast.
Although most political strategists doubt McConaughey's commitment and viability as a candidate, some are still intrigued by the possibility.
"I find it improbable, but it's not out of the question," Karl Rove, a top Republican strategist with a long history in Austin, told the political news site. He added that the big question is whether McConaughey would run as a Republican, a Democrat or an independent.
Brendan Steinhauser, an Austin-based GOP strategist, told Politico he's surprised McConaughey isn't being taken more seriously. "Celebrity in this country counts for a lot," he said. "It's not like some C-list actor no one likes. He has an appeal."
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott plans to run for a third term and remains popular among Republican voters, 77% of whom approve of his performance as of April, according to the Texas Politics Project.
Some strategists believe an independent McConaughey run would benefit Abbott. But a recent poll from The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler found that McConaughey would beat Abbott, 45% to 33%, with 22% opting for someone else.
Mimi Swartz, an executive editor at Texas Monthly, mulled a McConaughey run in a recent opinion essay from the New York Times. "Texas may not be ready for a philosopher king as a candidate, much less governor," she wrote. "May the best man win, man."
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Some JuiceLand production facility workers and storefront employees are organizing to demand wage increases, better working conditions (including air conditioning in the warehouse) and pay transparency, among other asks. They are also calling on staff to strike and customers to boycott the Austin-based company until their demands are met.
JuiceLand responded on Saturday. "We are listening," the company wrote on their Instagram story. "JuiceLand crew now makes guaranteed $15 an hour or more companywide."
JuiceLand, which was founded in 2001 by Matt Shook and now has 35 locations in Austin, Houston and Dallas, acknowledged the rising cost of living across Texas and the added stress of the pandemic in an email to employees on Saturday, part of which @juicelandworkersrights shared on social media. "There's no denying that times are tough and financial security means more now than ever," the company wrote.
Organized JuiceLand workers rejected this proposal, according to a recent post on the @juicelandworkersrights Instagram account, and reiterated their demands.
"Cost of living in Austin is rising exponentially and will only continue to get worse with the tech boom," the post read. "$15 is barely a sustainable living."