Chances are you can have it your way or at least one of 17 million ways at a food franchise new to Mid-Michigan.
Nourish by The Big Salad
opened in early October, offering made-to-order salads, soups, sandwiches, smoothies and specialty drinks. Located inside Alive,
a health park run by Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital, the Charlotte location is the sixth restaurant in the Royal Oak-based chain. It's also the first in The Big Salad franchise that's located in a smaller market outside of Southeast Michigan.
The possibility of 17 million choices, CEO and founder John Bornoty says, comes from a make line of fresh ingredients that includes three different types of lettuce, 32 toppings, five meats and 29 dressings.
"Our generation not only wants healthy eating, they want food the way they want it," says Bornoty. "We are accustomed to choices and everyone wants things customized."
CEO Patrick Sustrich of Alive agreed, and says that Nourish by The Big Salad is a great model that meshes perfectly with the Charlotte health park. Alive had been looking for an outside restaurant to house inside the facility for several years. So when Sustrich heard about The Big Salad and their mission of promoting health and wellness, he invited Bornoty to partner with Alive and its existing cafe.
"Food service is a critical piece to helping people be and stay healthy," says Sustrich. "And it's something that can attract people to our building and keep them here for events, conferences and functions. Now with the new restaurant, we have people coming here just for lunch."
Although other Big Salads serve areas with populations of 100,000-plus, the small-town location in Charlotte represents an additional growth strategy for the chain.
"We love the model of what we're doing with Alive," says Bornoty. "We want to expand on the micro-franchise concept and take it to airports and hospitals. There's lots of opportunity in Michigan, and we're a Michigan-based company."
Nourish by The Big Salad employs 10 people and can seat up to 40 diners in the 700-square foot space. Take out is also available, with options to order online or through kiosks throughout Alive.
"You're not limited to sitting in Nourish by The Big Salad," says Sustrich. "We have people who find spots to sit and eat along our walking path, in our beautiful gardens, and other areas in our 65,000-square foot facility."
Source: John Bornoty, Founder and CEO, The Big Salad; Patrick Sustrich, Executive Director, Alive
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor