Fry’d, a new ghost kitchen-style restaurant, will open on Friday, March 5. The ghost kitchen will open at 10 p.m., operating out of Wildcat Pizza on 3 Madbury Road.
Ghost kitchens have a brand and a name, but don’t operate in one concrete location – they work using kitchens of existing restaurants. These concepts are often set up for takeout and delivery, as is the plan with Fry’d.
This late-night cravings cure “Fry’d” was put together by seven University of New Hampshire (UNH) students. Fry’d is a new take on campus comfort food with fresh new options to offer to the UNH community, including some of everyone’s favorite classics like baskets of fries and macaroni and cheese with twists, like gluten-free and vegan options.
Chief Executive Officer Darren Gibadlo, senior finance major, assembled his team of his close friends: Ethan Landon, senior and chief marketing officer, Christopher Sheehan, senior and chief technology officer, Keane Regan, senior and chief accounting officer, Patrick Duggan, senior and chief financial officer, Joseph Heimberg, senior and kitchen manager, and Nelson Davis, senior and EHS.
Landon said the group has done a great job of separating their personal and business relationships, and that they all bring a different skillset to the table. “We’ve all grown together and taught each other a lot,” he said.
On the marketing side, Landon said they’ve focused on creating a digital presence, primarily through Instagram and TikTok. They mean to push content that “is not only funny, but relatable to the average college student.”
Their business plan was constructed to operate safely in the midst of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, with ordering available online and by phone for contactless pickup and delivery. Gibadlo said they turned the pandemic into a positive, seeing their niche business plan as a path to success.
Gibadlo noted that Durham’s late night food scene is very “pizza heavy” and in general lacks inclusive options for those with dietary restrictions. He is gluten-free, and said he would often feel left without options late-night with his friends.
With Fry’d, they want to present and market as an inclusive location where everyone is welcome, comfortable, and free to enjoy the food, according to Landon. Being a part of their own target audience of college students, he said the team understood Durham’s late-night scene and what sort of options it is lacking.
Their menu has additional gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan-friendly options that students will enjoy. These include favorites like fried cauliflower for example, available hot or sweet. For the mac and cheese dishes, patrons can substitute brown rice and quinoa pasta as well.
Fry’d features plenty of comfort food classics, such as their buffalo chicken mac and cheese – The Crazy Ex – or The Godfather, a grilled cheese with BBQ pork. They also offer fries, mozzarella sticks, fried Oreos and churros. All the options are catered to a college student’s budget, with nothing on the menu exceeding $10 (unless someone wants to try all the toppings on one meal).
The Fry’d team will be running the business logistically and doing the work in the kitchen as well. A few of the guys have prior kitchen experience, and Gibadlo said it’s been a lot of fun helping each other learn, even doing pretend trial runs with mock kitchen setups in their apartment to get the timing and communication down.
One of their greatest obstacles, he said, was getting people to take them seriously. Despite how some businesses might not trust a group of college kids, he said they’ve put a lot of time and research into it. “Most places wanted nothing to do with us,” Gibadlo said, but it proves to be a motivator for them, and makes them even more excited to see their idea to launch this week.
The Fry’d team is excited for the launch, and Gibadlo said there will be free swag given away on night one. On Friday night at 10 p.m., hungry UNH students can call in at 978-308-9232 or order online to satisfy those late night cravings: “for your next craving, think Fry’d.”
Photo courtesy of Ethan Landon