sweetFrog sold to local private equity firm

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RICHMOND, Va. — A local private equity firm has scooped up one of Richmond’s fastest-growing companies whose founder is cooking up another concept in Carytown. Boxwood Capital Partners purchased the controlling shares of frozen yogurt chain sweetFrog for an undisclosed amount in a deal that was finalized Jan. 31, said Pat Galleher, managing director of the downtown private equity firm.

Boxwood purchased the majority stake from former sweetFrog CEO and founder Derek Cha, who started the company in Richmond in 2009 with a location in Short Pump. SweetFrog has grown to more than 300 locations worldwide in the five years since.

As part of the deal with Boxwood, Cha has retained a minority stake in the Midlothian-based company, as well as ownership more than 15 of its franchise locations.

“I wanted to really concentrate on my new concept, Zzaam,” Cha said, referring to the Korean barbecue restaurant concept he launched last year. “The first location is going well in Charlottesville near UVA, and I’ve recently secured a lease for a Carytown location.”

Cha would not say where in Carytown he plans to put a Zzaam, but did say the new spot should open within about four months.

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