Exactly when and where remains to be decided, but two entrepreneurs will assure you that .
Business partners Kathleen Kropp and Sophie Kennedy confirmed Wednesday that they have purchased Gino's Burgers and Chicken franchise territories in Perry Hall, White Marsh and Dundalk. The announcement came on the heels of the grand opening of the , the first in Maryland since the Pasadena location closed in 1991.
Kropp and Kennedy said they are meeting to discuss a lease agreement in Perry Hall on Thursday, although nothing has been made final. If a location is secured soon, the Perry Hall Gino's may open by January or February 2012.
The Dundalk location is also expected to open in 2012 in the Merritt Boulevard and Wise Avenue area, while the White Marsh location, expected to open in 2013, is planned for a future development along Campbell Boulevard across from Target, they said.
"We are just so excited to start this new chapter of our lives," Kennedy said.
Kennedy, 59, and Kropp, 61, who live houses apart on Robins Perch Lane in Perry Hall, are no strangers to the world of business.
Kropp, a native of Highlandtown, works as a representative for Triple H Transport, a building moving company. She previously spent nearly 30 years owning and operating a neighborhood bar and nightclub in Baltimore.
"That's where Sophie and I first met," Kropp said. The two women, divorcees and single parents, became fast friends.
In addition to running her own businesses, she has also worked as a small business consultant. "That's what I've done most of my life—going into businesses and figuring out how to build them up," Kropp said.
Kennedy, originally from Dundalk, has worked for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services for the past 22 years. She expects to retire soon to focus on the new Gino's stores.
Both Kropp and Kennedy are active members of the Women Entrepreneurs of Baltimore organization.
They had previously planned to open a liquor store together in Honeygo Village Center along Honeygo Boulevard, "but someone else beat us to it," Kennedy said with a laugh.
They said they hope to someday leave the Gino's locations to their adult children, Kropp's 39-year-old daughter and Kennedy's 23-year-old son.
"We wouldn't go into this unless we had complete confidence in the product," Kennedy said. "They only use fresh ground beef—nothing is frozen."
A Gino's will bring an influx of new customers to the area, they said.
County Councilman David Marks has that a Gino's would benefit Perry Hall's larger business community. Marks has suggested a Gino's be built in the parking lot of the .
"We believe in giving back to the community. That's why Gino's had to be in Perry Hall," Kennedy said.
Scott Autry, owner of the Towson franchise, said he wishes Kropp and Kennedy success.
On top of an initial franchise fee of $35,000 per store, prepping a building and purchasing supplies amounts to hundreds of thousands of dollars, Autry said. Launching three stores could easily exceed a million-dollar budget.
"Everybody will do well in the beginning—because it's Gino's," he said. "The question is: Will you continue doing well three years from now?"
The women were aware that a Gino's had previously been based along Belair Road, where the Perry Hall is currently located. "Everybody is so excited about Gino's coming back," Kennedy said.