Boloco in Copley Square
|Founded||1996 (Boston, Massachusetts)|
|Products||Burritos, wraps, salads, smoothies|
Boloco (from Boston Local Company) is the brand name of an American chain of restaurants that serves burritos, wraps, salads, shakes and smoothies. Burritos on the menu represent culinary traditions from around the world — for example, Mexican, Japanese, Thai, and Mediterranean.
The company was incorporated in 1996 under the name The Wrap by co-founders Adam Liebman, Gregg Harris, John Pepper and Jason Hutchinson. In 1997, it opened its first restaurant, initially called "Under Wraps", in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood. In 1998, the company acquired a competing restaurant business with locations in Harvard Square and Cleveland Circle. All three locations were re-branded under the new name, "The Wrap and Smoothie Bar" (selected via a customer contest in late 1997). In 2000, they merged with a four-unit juice company called "Jera's Juice". In the next few years, the company added restaurants at Northeastern University and on Newbury Street (2000), Children's Hospital and Pearl Street (2003), Federal Street in Boston's Financial District and in Hanover, New Hampshire, at Dartmouth College (2004). Jera's Juice was phased out by 2003, although a version of its swirl logo was incorporated into the Boloco logo.
Late in 2004, the founders decided to expand The Wrap beyond New England. They sold The Wrap brand and its intangible assets to a group of Ohio-based entrepreneurs, Nicar Enterprises, which had built national franchise organizations. In 2005, both parties helped re-brand The Wrap as Boloco. The founders changed the name mainly because the word "wrap" had come to mean something that was typically served cold and prepackaged, whereas The Wrap's offerings used hot, grilled, fresh ingredients wrapped in steamed tortillas — more like a burrito, less like a wrap. The name The Wrap was also too generic to be protected legally.
Nicar built eight locations across the U.S. In late 2006, the Boston-based founders repurchased all of the sold assets and renamed the franchised locations "Currito". As of May 2010, Currito has 12 franchised units in nine states. Currito and Boloco have some similar menu items and trade dress left over from the 2-year relationship, but operate independently.
In 2007, the company became one of the first fast-casual chains to gain Certified Green status with the Green Restaurant Association. Boloco meats and chicken are grass- or vegetarian-fed and free of antibiotics and added growth hormones. It also serves organic tofu. In 2007, Boloco announced that it would use only free-range eggs. In 2008, the company ceased using Styrofoam, substituting corn-based smoothie cups and compostable bowls.
In 2014, the New York Times reported that Boloco was "one of the handful of restaurant chains that deliberately pay well above the federal minimum wage."
Autumn of 2016 saw major changes. Boloco closed numerous locations, including the one in Vermont and all the ones in Maryland. By November 2016, they were down to only ten locations in Massachusetts, one in Rhode Island and one in Hanover, NH.    
- Levitt, Jonathan. Folding pattern, The Boston Globe. Published April 8, 2008. Retrieved April 10, 2008.
- Keohane, Joe. Burrito Overload Archived May 14, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., Boston. Published December 2007. Retrieved April 10, 2008.
- Boloco goes "cage-free", The Boston Globe. Published October 16, 2007. Retrieved April 10, 2008.
- Greenhouse, Steven and Stephanie Strom (July 4, 2014). "Boloco and Shake Shack Offer Above-Average Pay". New York City. Retrieved December 10, 2014.
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