Restaurant chain touting fresh, healthy food expands across CT

Restaurant chain touting fresh, healthy food expands across CT

A popular chain restaurant that offers varieties of salads and bowls and an environmental promise is expanding its footprint in Connecticut.

Sweetgreen, a mission-driven restaurant specializing in healthful food options, said it has signed a lease with WS Development to open a location at The Shops at Farmington Valley in Canton at 110 Albany Turnpike, according to Maggie Smith, the public relations assistant for The Brand Guild, which represents the company.

The Canton location represents the fourth restaurant in the state and the first in Hartford County. Sweetgreen has locations in Darien, Greenwich and another planned for Westport at Compo Acres shopping center.

Sweetgreen is planned for Suite 911 next to the popular indoor virtual golf facility Golf Lounge 18 and Emerald City Smoothie. WS Development, the company that owns the outdoor shopping mall, said that the restaurant chain will add to its diverse offerings.

“We’re incredibly excited that this brand has chosen us for their first Hartford County location,” said Liz Ackerman, general manager at The Shops at Farmington Valley. “And we know their mission to provide a healthy fast-casual meal that is sustainable will resonate with our community.”

Founded in 2007, Sweetgreen has more than 225 restaurants across the country, with a focus on building healthier communities through sourcing fresh ingredients from suppliers who commit to regenerative practices. Regenerative agriculture practices help maintain a limited carbon footprint to fight the impact of climate change. According to the company’s website, Sweetgreen is committed to becoming completely carbon neutral by 2027. The company’s approach has been celebrated by environmentalists and climate activists but has come at a financial cost, according  to the company.

Sweetgreen signed a lease to open its fourth location in the state at The Shops at Farmington Valley in Canton. A sketch rendering of what the restaurant will look like once completed. (Photo/Credit The Shops at Farmington Valley)

“Every day, across its over 225+ restaurants, their team members create plant-forward, seasonal, and earth-friendly meals from fresh ingredients and produce that prioritizes organic, regenerative, and local sourcing,” according to a spokesperson for the company.

Sweetgreen features several different types of salads and bowls, such as the chicken avocado ranch bowl with blackened chicken, avocado, pickled onions, apples, tortilla chips and chopped romaine that is drizzled with green goddess ranch over white rice. The company also offerings vegan bowls, such as the “Shroomami” with roasted tofu, warm portobello mix, cucumbers, basil, shredded cabbage, roasted almonds, shredded kale and drizzled with miso sesame ginger dressing over wild rice.

Salad offerings include the popular “Super Green Goddess” with chickpeas, roasted sweet potatoes, raw carrots, spicy broccoli, shredded cabbage, roasted almonds, baby spinach, shredded kale and green goddess ranch. Customers can choose from seven salad offerings. For those craving protein, Sweetgreen offers a miso glazed salmon protein bowl and a hot honey chicken protein bowl with blackened chicken, warm roasted sweet potatoes, veg slaw, crispy onions, herbed quinoa and hot honey mustard sauce.

The expansion of Sweetgreen in the state comes amid news of several other high-profile chains closing hundreds of locations across the country. In addition, beloved restaurants that have stood for decades have closed due to changing work and consumer habits. Restaurants that survived during the height of the pandemic have fallen victim to soaring prices, a tough labor market and fewer customers. Sweetgreen, which reported financial losses in 2023, saw its shares jump by 34% this month after the company reported better-than-expected revenue results for its fiscal first quarter.

“Sweetgreen’s strong food ethos and investment in local communities have enabled them to grow into a national brand with a mission to build healthier communities by connecting people to real food,” the company said in a statement.

Stephen Underwood can be reached at [email protected]

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