Freshii Celebrates Four Years In Chicago

There’s a lot of goodness going around at Chicago’s favorite stop for nutrition-conscious people on the go. Freshii is gearing up to honor its four-year anniversary in Chicago with a celebration from June 11 – 17 at all six locations. With their national franchise business also on a healthy track, having just nabbed a top 10 spot on Fast Casual magazine’s Top Movers & Shakers List, they are making a major impact in the restaurant industry and have carved out a true healthy-casual niche.

According to CEO Matthew Corrin, Freshii was created in response to a need for convenient, healthy food options: “Freshii operates in an emerging industry we call ‘health-casual.’

It has all the elements of fast casual (high quality food that’s quick and convenient) with an added focus on health and wellness. We wanted to give people nutritious food with plenty of options so they can design a meal that fits their individual tastes and busy, urban lifestyles.”Both Freshii and its CEO, Matthew Corrin, landed top 10 spots on Fast Casual’s coveted Top Movers & Shakers List — Freshii at #8 on the Franchise List and Corrin at #3 on the People List. Corrin was also named Ernst & Young’s 2011 Entrepreneur of the Year and was recently featured in Crain’s “Top 40 under 40.”

Freshii, whose U.S. operations are based in Chicago, opened its inaugural location at 311 S. Wacker in June 2008. Since then, they’ve added five more locations to the area. David Grossman, a Chicago native and Freshii’s first “Master Franchisor” in the U.S., attributes much of their success to his hometown. With experience working with the top brands in the country and having opened 120 Subways in Chicago, he has emerged as a definitive talent in the restaurant industry and the local real estate market. “I traveled the country looking for the next big thing and looked at many different concepts…Freshii had, by far, the most potential. I knew with the right location, the best team and local food sourcing, we could make it a huge success.”

Grossman’s intuition was right. The Freshii store at 200 W. Monroe St. in the Loop is the highest volume store in the chain. Out of 50 total stores across the world, the six Chicago stores are all in the top 10 highest grossing locations in the company.

In addition to their focus on health and wellness, Freshii also takes a stand against traditional industry practices like excess packaging, heavy energy consumption and greasy processed meals through their “Mission Green” initiative. All packaging and materials contain quickly biodegradable vegetable starches; stores are built smaller to use fewer materials and consume less energy; and they rely on energy-efficient appliances and natural cleaning products. “We are very connected to our food sources, which mostly come from the Midwest, and buy only from environmentally friendly farms that pay and treat their workers fairly,” says Corrin. In addition, Freshii likes to support likeminded local businesses and serves Chicago-based Metropolis Coffee, Greater Than sports beverage, Skinny Pop popcorn, and uses Sugar & Spice Bakery in Evanston for all their baked goods.

From June 11 – 17, in celebration of their anniversary and to express gratitude to their Chicago fans, Freshii is offering Buy One Get One Free breakfast options (like Spinach & Goat Cheese Wraps and low fat Yogurt Parfaits) before 11 a.m.. Customers that drop by after 2 p.m. are treated to a free frozen yogurt with the purchase of one. To keep both body and budget in balance they will also have $5 lunch specials, featuring a different deal each day.

While working as Marketing Manager for fashion icon Oscar de La Renta in New York City, Freshii founder Matthew Corrin frequented the many corner mom-and-pop delis on his lunch breaks. After one too many unhealthy lunches, Corrin set out to add magic to the fresh food business. He wanted to create a model that would ultimately change the way people eat and eliminate the excuse that people don’t eat well because there’s nothing convenient or affordable around. With that mission in mind, Freshii opened its first health-casual restaurant in Toronto in 2005 and was welcomed with massive lines. Now with more than 50 locations worldwide, Freshii offers a menu of salads, burritos, wraps, rice bowls, yogurts, breakfast and soups made with high quality, fresh ingredients brimming with fiber, slow-burning carbs, essential fats and lean proteins. Through their “Mission Green” initiative, they have eliminated traditional industry practices like excess packaging, heavy energy consumption and greasy processed meals. They do all this in an upbeat environment with modern and sophisticated design that elevates dining for even the busiest of