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Booming Salad Chain Adds 11 More Stores To Its Ambitious Growth Plans

The chain also has a whopping 150 additional new locations in development right now.
FACT CHECKED BY Justine Goodman

Salad lovers in one part of the country will soon have a new spot to get their health food fix as a booming chain plans to grow its footprint significantly.

Crisp & Green, a Minnesota-based fast-casual chain that specializes in salads, grain bowls, and smoothies, just announced plans to open 11 new locations in the Midwest starting in 2025. The company plans to break ground for the new stores in the fall, according to a press release.

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The Milwaukee suburbs of Waukesha and New Berlin are slated to receive some of the new restaurants, while others will open in the Chicago suburbs of Wheaton and Bolingbrook. Vishal Vaghani of VN Development, LLC, a franchise partner who already has decades of experience running fast-casual and quick-service restaurants, will operate the new Crisp & Green stores.

Crisp & Green exterior
Courtesy of Crisp & Green

"I started Crisp & Green because I wanted to make healthy living more delicious, more convenient, and honestly just more fun," Steele Smiley, founder and owner of Crisp & Green parent company Steele Brands, said in a statement. "Our guests have made it loud and clear that's what they want too, so being able to further expand into the Chicagoland area is just an absolute dream come true for me."

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Crisp & Green currently operates close to 50 locations across 14 states: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin. In addition to the 11 newly announced stores coming to the Midwest, the chain  currently has a whopping 150 Crisp & Green stores in development right now.

Though the timeline for the new openings was not specified in the press release, this ambitious expansion pipeline could help Crisp & Green grow closer in size to other major American salad chains. Sweetgreen, for example, currently operates more than 220 restaurants across the country, while fellow rival Chopt has more than 80 units.

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A Crisp & Green representative told Eat This, Not That! that in addition to Milwaukee and Chicago, other areas of focus for expansion this year include Charlotte, N.C.; Kansas City, Mo.; Ohio; Indiana; Kentucky; Texas; and Idaho. So, fans in those markets should keep an eye out for the chain's arrival in the future.

Though we're still just a few months into 2024, it's already shaping up to be a major year of expansion for restaurant chains across the country. Smoothie King just announced last week that it plans to more than triple its store count in the Las Vegas market with seven new planned openings. The smoothie chain also expects to open a whopping 100 new locations in 2024 alone.

Scores of other chains, including major names like Starbucks, Jersey Mike's Subs, and Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, also plan to debut dozens or even hundreds of new restaurants this year.

Zoe Strozewski
Zoe Strozewski is a News Writer for Eat This, Not That! A Chicago native who now lives in New Jersey, she graduated from Kean University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Read more about Zoe