The organic movement has made its way to farmlands, grocery stores, and home kitchens across the country, but there’s one place where it hasn’t particularly caught on all that well: the restaurant business.
While making your own healthy organic meals from scratch and snacking on organic packaged foods have both become more accessible than ever before, getting a ready-made meal of the same style and quality is nearly impossible for most people.
Chipotle took the major step of going non-GMO, but there hasn’t been a whole lot of mainstream organic fare for most diners to enjoy. An ambitious group of Costco executives, however, just may have what it takes to change all that.
New Organic Restaurant Chain Plans Major Expansion
According to a new article from The Seattle Times, Organic Coup, a fast-growing organic fast food chain founded by former Costco employees (and funded by top Costco executives), is planning to open five new restaurants in the Seattle area next year, including a likely spot in downtown Seattle.
Billed as the first certified organic fast food restaurant in the U.S. (it has the approval of the USDA), the company currently has seven California locations with a new one also on the way in Oakland.
News of the company’s latest expansion is especially significant because it shows that some of the world’s biggest corporate players are finally recognizing the potential and appeal of the organic movement — in this case Costco, which recently became the surprising top seller of organic groceries according to various reports, surprassing Whole Foods.
While the Amy’s Organic company recently created what was believed to be the first major organic fast food restaurant in California, the chain has yet to expand, despite its success in serving up a half-million veggie burger patties in its first year.
Organic Coup differs in that it has a special focus on chicken: it serves up “’organic air chilled chicken breast’” sandwiches, wraps and bowls as well as Tater Tots and caramel popcorn drizzled with chocolate” according to the Times’ report.
Similar to Chipotle, the company keeps its menu options relatively simple in order to streamline its business, which helps the chain to keep the prices within the same range as many other non-organic restaurants whose food items are likely to contain GMOs and synthetic additives.
“You would have to be living on Mars to not understand that sustainability and the organic movement is something that is very significant,” said Costco co-founder and former CEO Jeff Sinegal in an interview with Bay Area radio show. “This is not a flash in the pan.”
Costco chief financial officer Richard Galanti is also on board with the project, adding to its long-term chances of thriving. Could we have a new Chipotle on our hands?
The company’s financial backers, including Galanti, sound confident in the venture’s success and long-term viability.
“Organic is something that’s top of mind and continues to grow,” he said according to the Times report. “Combining it with fast food seemed novel and compelling.”
For more on the restaurant and its big-time backers, check out the Times report by clicking here.
You can also check Organic Coup out on their website by clicking here.