Close this search box.

Log in

Top Stories

Crisp & Green continues its rapid growth in Southwest Florida and elsewhere.
Beginning in 2016 with one location in Wayzata, Minnesota, Crisp & Green has exponentially grown since the COVID-19 pandemic began three years ago. The fast-casual restaurant franchise had just seven locations, all in Minnesota, at this time in 2021.

This week, Crisp & Green’s 31st restaurant and the second in the region opened at 10171 Estero Town Commons Place, unit 306, in the new Estero Commons shopping center off Corkscrew Road, just west of Interstate 75. It joins the location that opened last summer in The Pointe at Founders Square in the Naples area.

At least 250 more Crisp & Green locations are in development stages across the country, said co-founders Lily Smith and Steele Smiley.

“It’s salads,” Smiley said. “It’s smoothies. It’s grain bowls. We have breakfast on the way. Acai bowls. It’s amazing, healthy food that you can grab and go quickly or sit and enjoy your experience. We do a tremendous amount of wellness events. We’re excited to open each store with activation in the community.”

The new Estero and Naples area franchise locations are owned by Sue Mathews and family and extended family members, including Danielle Mathews, Flora Bean, Kelly McCoy and others.

“We’re so excited about such a fun concept,” Danielle Mathews said. “I love making health eating easy – and fast.”

Smith recently visited the new Estero restaurant and made a few Fiesta Bowls, Crisp & Green’s most popular dish. It’s brown rice, roasted chicken, avocado, napa cabbage, jalapeño, black beans, fajita peppers and onions, queso fresco, pepitas, roasted tomatillo salsa, a lime squeeze and jalapeño-lime vinaigrette.
Most menu items are priced in the $8 to $15 range and contain fewer than 500 calories. The grain bowls are great alternatives for people who won’t eat salad because they ‘don’t eat rabbit food,’” Smith said.

“We like to mix and match so we get the best of both worlds,” she said. “They are perfect for somebody who says, ‘I’m not really a salad person.’”

The pandemic played into Crisp & Green’s growth, Smith and Smiley said, as it prompted many people to reevaluate their healthy eating habits.

“When things were shut down, we were built to go,” Smith said. “We were fulfilling orders online during the pandemic. Also, people wanted to eat healthier.”

Crisp & Green has come a long way from its beginnings in suburban Minneapolis, said Smiley, who sold his interest in a chain of fitness facilities before starting the restaurant.

“Healthy food is really in its infancy in the United States,” Smiley said. “There’s 16,000 Taco Bells and Pizza Huts combined. We are really changing the way healthy food is viewed. We built a single store, and we had no idea that we would end up building something this special. We have been so fortunate to have had success.”

Copyright 2024 Gulfshore Life Media, LLC All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without prior written consent.

Don't Miss

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Please note that article corrections should be submitted for grammar or syntax issues.

If you have other concerns about the content of this article, please submit a news tip.