Fast casual restaurant operator Fresh&co has acquired a 35-acre farm that will continue to supply fresh produce to all of the company's locations. Consumers are more focused than ever on the impact of food on their own health, as well as on the health of the environment, and they are flocking to restaurants that provide ingredients considered fresh, "natural" and often local.
Fresh&co describes itself as a "destination for chef-inspired, local and organic seasonal food that is both nutritious and delicious." The company's menu offers traditional breakfast items, quinoa bowls, along with seasonal flavors including: avocado blt sandwich and a stawberry fields salad. Fresh&co was founded in 2010 by New York-based ST Management and operates 10 restaurants in the same city. ST Management also owns the Cafe Metro chain.
The Orient, New York-based farm, which is called Fresh&co farms, was previously a supplier to Fresh&co restaurants before the deal was announced. Fresh&co farms grows broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, parsley, cilantro, basil, corn, strawberries, and brussels sprouts. The farm also holds Kiko meat and dairy goats, pigs and chickens.
The farm-to-table movement is sowing deals. In July, Advent International agreed to acquire a majority stake in breakfast café operator First Watch Restaurants, which offers a mix of farm-to-table and "indulgent" menu choices, from Freeman Spogli & Co. Earlier in 2017, JAB Holding Co. purchased bakery-café chain Panera Bread for about $7.5 billion. St. Louis-based Panera, which operates more than 2,000 locations, describes its mission as: “raising, serving and eating food that is good, and good for you.”