TORONTO -- The man behind Freshii restaurants is publicly appealing for a "partnership" with the much bigger Subway organization.

Freshii's founder and CEO, Matthew Corrin, is calling for the conversion of "select" Subway sandwich shops to Freshii stores.

Corrin argues his proposal would be a quick, low-cost way to provide opportunties for both restaurant chains -- which are vastly different in size but both catering to health-conscious consumers.

Toronto-based Freshii currently has about 240 locations in 15 countries, compared with 44,600 franchised Subway locations in 112 countries.

Corrin's letter -- published as a full-page newspaper ad -- calls for Subway franchise partners to convert their stores or add the Freshii brand to their business portfolio.

The pitch comes at a time when Subway has been disputing a recent Canadian Broadcast Corp. program that says samples of its chicken products showed less than half the DNA was from chicken.

It also comes ahead of the release of Freshii's first financial report since the company debuted on the Toronto Stock Exchange in January, after a $125-million initial public offering of its stock.