The Chopped Leaf

A pop­u­lar brand serv­ing up fresh sal­ads shows you don’t have to sac­ri­fice taste to eat healthy

Edmonton Journal - - READER’S CHOICE - JOANNE MCGOWAN

Blair Stevens, Founder and Brand Pres­i­dent of The Chopped Leaf still feels en­er­gized by good news from his home­town, Ed­mon­ton. But hear­ing that Jour­nal read­ers have voted Chopped Leaf as the Gold Win­ner among salad eater­ies takes the cake. Or shall we say, salad.

“Any­thing to do with Ed­mon­ton, I get be­yond ex­cited,” he says. “It’s def­i­nitely a spe­cial spot for me per­son­ally, but we’re just as ex­cited for ev­ery­one in that mar­ket be­cause our area fran­chise part­ners, who own and op­er­ate each lo­ca­tion, are com­mit­ted to rep­re­sent­ing the brand.”

Chopped Leaf first came about when Stevens and his wife, Karla, sought to create a quick-serve eatery fea­tur­ing fresh sal­ads, which were al­ways a big part of their life­style and diet.

“We knew we had to put a menu to­gether that was well-fit for the Cana­dian mar­ket. The chal­lenge back then was this per­cep­tion that ‘healthy’ was linked to poor-tast­ing,” de­scribes Stevens. “But I’ve seen this change; there’re a lot more peo­ple ed­u­cated about the ben­e­fits of eat­ing greens — and that they can ac­tu­ally ful­fill your taste buds as well.”

Af­ter launch­ing the first Chopped Leaf in Kelowna in 2009, the fran­chise has ex­panded to 86 lo­ca­tions across Canada and the US, in­clud­ing 19 eater­ies in Ed­mon­ton and sur­round­ing ar­eas alone.

Their clas­sic recipes are still among the most pop­u­lar menu items – in­clud­ing the South­west Salad, Whole bowl No. 1, the Sig­na­ture Chopped Wrap, and their fa­mous Spicy Creamy Tomato Soup – but new of­fer­ings are con­tin­u­ally be­ing served.

“We just launched our fall / win­ter menu, which in­cludes the Paci­fica with prawns, the

Aztec Boca plant-based bowl, and the Karma bowl,” says Stevens. “They’re our most suc­cess­ful lim­ited-time of­fer­ings, so we’re really ex­cited.”

Un­der­stand­ing trends and con­stantly seek­ing cus­tomer feed­back has been key to Chopped Leaf’s suc­cess, not to men­tion the evolve­ment of their brand and menu items. Fresh in­gre­di­ents with bold and de­li­cious flavours are al­ways at the fore­front when de­vel­op­ing new and in­no­va­tive dishes.

“We’re also launch­ing two new soups in Jan­u­ary – a kale Tus­can and a Mex­i­cali – that are both ve­gan and gluten-friendly and de­li­cious,” says Stevens.

“The spring / sum­mer menu is still be­ing fi­nal­ized, but it’s go­ing to be aligned to our brand, which is serv­ing a pre­mium prod­uct that speaks to qual­ity, fresh­ness, and orig­i­nal­ity.”

If you haven’t tried Chopped Leaf, find a lo­ca­tion near you by vis­it­ing choppedlea­f.ca/lo­ca­tions and see how the brand proves taste and qual­ity in­gre­di­ents can go hand-in-hand.

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