The owner of the Atlanta area’s only full-service, sit-down, kosher-certified restaurant is looking for a buyer or at least a managing partner.
Masha Hleap, the Colombian-born executive chef and owner of FuegoMundo in the Prado shopping center in Sandy Springs, has put the kosher South American meat restaurant up for sale so she can open a location in the Jacksonville, Fla., area.
“I’m planning to make Jacksonville my primary residence and, G-d willing, find someone to take over my location here in Atlanta,” she said. “I made the restaurant kosher five years ago, and now I’ve become kosher and I observe Shabbat, so I’d like to keep it that way.”
Hleap said FuegoMundo will operate as normal until she finds a buyer or managing partner. The restaurant closes on Friday for Shabbat and reopens Saturday night, per Atlanta Kosher Commission regulations.
The restaurant opened in 2009 as a kosher-style concept but has been under AKC supervision since 2011. Hleap said sales have gone up 30 percent since the restaurant went fully kosher.
“I actually think that the nutritional movement is going in that direction, and people, even non-Jews, will appreciate kosher even more in the future,” she said. “Nutritionally, it’s the best way to go.”
As first reported by Tomorrow’s News Today, FuegoMundo was listed for sale by the Schumacher Group for $476,000 in early December. The listing reported 2015 gross sales of $1,078,517 with a net profit of $216,775 after all expenses.
With a second location potentially on the way in the next year, Hleap said it’s still her dream to build FuegoMundo into a national kosher franchise.
“But I need an investing partner,” she said. “I haven’t really actively looked yet because I’m so busy running the restaurant, but that would be my dream: to make it a national kosher franchise.”