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    Nation's Capitol Marvelous for Chain's Future

    Franchising will be a key for Marvelous Markets, which currently has eight stores, but plans for 50 by 2008.

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- While the eight-store chain called Marvelous Market seems small now, the chain has big plans for the future. Franchising in the Washington, D.C., area will bring the brand to 50 locations by 2008, reported Franchisewire.

    Marvelous Market began as a neighborhood bread boutique that sold traditional European and specialty breads in Chevy Chase, Md. Since then, the stores offer an expanded lineup of chef-crafted, all-natural food and gourmet convenience store atmosphere.

    Two stores will be developed by Ty and Kim Owens; the first will open in the Washington, D.C., metro area in the fall.

    "As I researched franchising opportunities, I knew that I wanted to get involved with an emerging concept that provided the support I need to be successful but also the opportunity to make a difference in the company," Ty Owens said. "Marvelous Market was a perfect choice. I can't wait to get my first store up and running."

    The chain is often referred to as a "mini Whole Foods," the report stated. Offerings in-store include: bottled wine, fresh baked breads, pastries, desserts, sandwiches and salads. All meals are made the night prior. To be convenient, the store's products are self-serve -- customers do not need to wait for food to be cooked, assembled and packaged, and most products are pre-wrapped and designed for easy accessibility, he report stated.

    While Ty Owens, a certified project manager, will work to open the stores, his wife, Kim Owens, will manage the two stores. She has more than 17 years of experience managing convenience stores in the Washington, D.C., metro area.

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