Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Healthy Fast Food Chain to Open in Gilbert, AZ

After my lovely sister-in-law from Bonnie Jean Photography posted on Facebook about Salad and Go, I immediately did what was necessary: thoroughly stalked them online and made an appointment to call the owner on the phone.

After just a few minutes on the phone with Roushan Christofellis, one of the masterminds behind this tasty new venture, my anticipation for opening day on Feb. 28 only multiplied.

It isn't easy being green.

For a long time, Roushan and her husband struggled with what many people face: a desire to eat healthy, but a busy lifestyle that made it seem nearly impossible to do so.

"There's really a void of available options," Roushan said. "Why can't there be food that's quick, convenient, affordable, healthy and great tasting?"

For the Christofellis family, it's personal.

Roushan and her husband are no strangers to the negative impacts of poor health. Within their own extended families, heart attacks and quadruple bypasses are situations that have hit too close to home.

"You are what you eat," Roushan said. "When you eat poorly, you're really setting yourself up for heartbreak later."

And so, they're doing something about it.

When the idea for a health-centered fast-food chain first sprouted, Roushan was in her 7th year of teaching elementary school. After a lot of careful thought, she decided to take a break from teaching and pursue the idea full time.

"It's way too convenient and affordable to eat unhealthy meals," she said. "Let's change this!"

What's on the menu?

At Salad and Go, the vision is simple, local and homemade. As any healthy eater knows, junk food is cheap and easy -- the fresh ingredients are where it gets pricey.

To combat the inevitable cost factor, they're keeping the menu simple -- but that doesn't mean it's lacking. From the dressings to the croutons to the pico de gallo, all ingredients are fresh and house-made. The corn, for example, isn't just any old corn -- it's a specific type of sweet corn roasted in a specific (and inevitably delicious) way.

"Each component itself is like a little recipe," Roushan said. "It's a small, focused menu."

(Check out the menu and drool a little with me, OK? And salad aside...fro yo milkshakes?? Be still my fro-yo lovin' heart!)

How's it work?

As promised, the food comes quickly. Salad and Go includes a drive-thru option and pick-up window only, with some patio seating. They're starting with just one location -- set to open on Feb. 28 -- but the goal is to open six stores within 2 or 3 years.

"We want to saturate the Gilbert area," Roushan said.

Read more on their innovative, cost-saving business model here.

My thoughts on all this?

Excited. Excited. Excited. A healthy fast food option? Bingo. Bless you, Salad and Go. Bless you.

Also, kudos to them for a good-looking, functional and well written website. I have strong feelings about good-looking, functional and well written websites. Win.

Can't wait to check it out on Feb. 28! Follow them on Facebook to stay in the loop.

p.s. They're hiring! If you live in AZ and are looking for part-time work for a cause you can really commit yourself to, here's the info.

All images via the Salad and Go website.


Katie said...

Oh. My. Gosh. I just completed a huge roadtrip down South and was so lamenting not having an easy, healthy fast food option (besides Subway)! (And blogged about vegetarian friendly ones here: http://thetouringpilgrim.blogspot.com/)

SO SUPER jealous that something like this is getting off the ground! I hope the idea makes its way eastward! We need this beautiful thing off 1-81! PUH-LEASE.

katilda said...

I will send good vibes up your way! I want restaurants like these to be dotting the country!

Anonymous said...

K, this is so awesome. I want it to open like right now, today, this second! I am thrilled that someone has decided to do something to improve the fast-food market around here. Fast doesn't have to mean fried! And what's faster than a salad?? PLUS - it's vegan, raw, vegetarian, kid, adult, AND meat-lover friendly. I am beyond happy this is happening. Also, can I just say how cool it is of you to do reviews like this? How do you track the right people down? This is great!