Matthew Corrin did not have beginner’s luck. On the first day he opened a restaurant called Lettuce, the kitchen ran out of lettuce.
A few days later, while preparing food for the day, Corrin’s chef sliced off the tip of his thumb. Spotting the blood, the sous-chef fell off the table he was sitting on, broke his nose and passed out. An ambulance picked the pair up at 6:30 a.m. Corrin, who had never worked in a restaurant kitchen before, was left to figure out how to use the kitchen equipment.
“I started chopping lettuce. I started grilling bacon and chicken and cutting the avocado. And we got through it,” he says. Looking back, there was “this interesting moment of reflection, where I knew . . . if I can get through that moment I really feel I can get through anything.”
Those opening bumps are long behind Corrin, the 28-year-old founder and CEO of Freshii, a restaurant chain that serves on-the-go customized salads, wraps, burritos, yogurts, soups and rice bowls. The company’s tag line is “Fresh food. Custom built. Fast.”