Calif. Freebirds fly to new HQ coop in AustinCalif. Freebirds fly to new HQ coop in Austinhttps://www.recenter.tamu.edu/news/newstalk-texas/?Item=13622015-04-01T09:22:00Z2015-04-01T09:30:00Z

AUSTIN - Freebirds World Burrito, the fast food chain that once called College Station home before being sold to a California-based firm, has returned to its roots in Texas.

The chain has moved its corporate headquarters from Emeryville, Calif., to the Great Hills Corporate Center in Northwest Austin, where it will employ 29 workers that includes its executive team, digital designers and marketing and human resources workers, among others.

The Austin corporate office staff will include some new hires and relocation, and another wave of hiring could be on the way, according to COO Bobby Shaw.

Freebirds said the move was a “natural fit” as the company has more than half of its locations — 67 — in Texas and already had support staff operating in Central Texas. Overall, the chain has more than 100 restaurants and 2,000 employees.

The first Freebirds restaurant opened in Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1987, founded by Mark Orfalea and Pierre Dube, who were roommates at the University of California-Santa Barbara. They said they opened the shop to offer college students more options for healthy meals that included black beans, sautéed fresh vegetables and grilled chicken and beef.

However, the Freebirds chain was really born in College Station. Dube bought the rights to expand the chain, and headquartered the brand in College Station.

The chain now operates in seven U.S. states: Texas, California, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and Utah.

Austin American-Statesman
Austin-Round Rock
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