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.
To see the full article through the Edmonton Journal, click here.