Newk's Express Café entered several new markets during 2012 and is prepping for even more growth in 2013. The 50-unit chain passed $100 million in sales for the first time in 2012, and will open at least 10 new locations next year, Chris Newcomb, CEO and co-founder, said in a press release.

"Newk's has really started the path to nationwide growth in the last couple of years," Newcomb said. "This is an exciting time for Newk's as we grow outside of the South into states like Missouri and Maryland. We are thrilled to bring our brand into these new areas. As a culinary-driven restaurant, the Newk's menu has universal appeal, and we are very much looking forward to 2013 and beyond."

Newk's opened its first Missouri location this year in Springfield, and four more will open in the state throughout the next few years. The first of five scheduled Jacksonville, Fla., restaurants also opened in 2012, with the second set to open in 2013. Newk's has signed a three-unit agreement for the Dallas area, and the first restaurant will open in Plano, Texas, in spring 2013. Newk's is also set to enter South Carolina and Maryland for the first time next year.

Since opening its first location in Oxford, Miss., in 2004, Newk's has expanded its presence to 10 states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

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