How a Rebrand Helped Spice Up This Cal-Mex Chain

Originally posted on Entrepreneur.com

Every business thinks about rebranding somewhere along the way. Some end up doing it in the early stages when they figure out their goals. Others find their industry changing around them and adapt with a rebrand. California Tortilla rebranded after asking the question: “Should we still play 80’s music in our stores?”

California Tortilla, also known as CalTort, is an award-winning Cal-Mex restaurant known for fresh, made-to-order burritos, quesadillas, salads and tacos. In 2003, the two-unit Maryland fast-casual restaurant concept, was purchased after eight years of successful growth under a local co-ownership. Since the purchase, CalTort has built and franchised to over 37 locations in the mid-Atlantic region.

When they first started in 1995, their quirky, spunky atmosphere won over Bethesda, Md. With '80s music, wacky promotions and fresh, quality food, CalTort stood out among the rest and even won best burrito over Chipotle and Moe’s in the DC area. The original branding stayed with the build-out of new stores and continued their success. Then that fateful music question was asked and a two-year brand update project began.

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