Better Brands develops and operates fast-casual restaurant concepts differentiated by organic ingredients, sustainable practices and approachable modern design.
Founded in 2010, YEAH! BURGER serves organic and gluten-free food along with craft beer in a fun, family-freindly environment. The brand has been covered by CNN, Travel Channel, Nation's Restaurant News, and Travel + Leisure among other media outlets. YEAH! BURGER has also been named one of Bon Appetit magazine's "10 Favorite Burger Spots" in the country and one of the "Best Burgers in Atlanta" by Atlanta Magazine.
Sprouting fall 2016 in the West Midtown neighborhood of Atlanta, Upbeet will serve healthful, organic, made-to-order food in an inviting fast-casual environment.
CEO & Co-Founder
Originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Erik graduated cum laude from the University of Notre Dame. He began his career in accounting at the Atlanta office of Arthur Andersen where his foodservice clients helped Erik discover a new passion: the restaurant industry. Erik began writing restaurant business plans on nights and weekends, but his dream of starting his own restaurant was put on hold when a close high school friend proposed that they partner to start a record label. As a lifelong musician and music fan, Erik loved the idea and left Arthur Andersen to become the next “Richard Branson”. The label never took off, but it did lead the two friends to start Frequency Media, a music monitoring company eventually acquired by a subsidiary of ASCAP. The acquisition moved Erik to New York City where he fed his passion for music and food. He was inspired by the sustainable food movement taking hold in New York, and later in Los Angeles, where he worked as a music executive for mobile phone start-up Amp’d Mobile. In 2010, Erik finally realized his dream of opening a restaurant that championed organic food by launching YEAH! BURGER in Atlanta. Now with Upbeet, Erik continues to create restaurant brands that are better for their customers, the environment, and the local communities in which they operate.
Operations & Culinary Director, Co-Founder
Cristy Nolton is a talented and experienced chef who sharpened her culinary skills at the Art Institute of Atlanta before working at some of the most notable restaurants in the city. A native Atlantan, Cristy grew up the daughter of a self-proclaimed "BBQ master" father and "foodie" mother. It was this early exposure to the various possibilities of food that sparked Cristy's interest in a culinary future. Cristy joined Erik to open the first YEAH! BURGER in 2010 and now serves as Better Brands’ Culinary Director, overseeing product development, sourcing, and back-of-house operations for both YEAH! BURGER and Upbeet.
Marketing & Brand Development Director, Co-Founder
Also a Pennsylvania native, Kelly Wallace graduated magna cum laude from the University of Alabama before working in the fashion industry in New York City at Diane von Furstenberg. Kelly then moved to Atlanta where she began her hospitality public relations and marketing career representing clients such as Antico Pizza, Davio's, Marriott, and Melia Hotels. Kelly joined the Better Brands team in 2013 where she was immediately drawn to the opportunity to create restaurant brands that made a difference. Kelly currently serves as Marketing & Brand Development Director where she oversees marketing and branding strategy and assists with new concept development and store design.