David’s Tea co-founder David Segal is pictured at a DavidsTea outlet in Toronto in February this year. The man behind DavidsTea, a chain that sought to make tea as ubiquitous as a cup of Starbucks coffee, is now attempting to make salad more appealing to the masses. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS

DavidsTea co-founder ventures into salads

The man behind DavidsTea, a chain that sought to make tea as ubiquitous as a cup of Starbucks coffee, is now attempting to make salad more appealing to the masses.

David Segal’s new eatery Mad Radish opened its first store in Ottawa on Friday. The co-founder says he wants to change how some people perceive salad — from an unsatisfying choice that can leave one hungry to a nutritious, tasty option.

“This ain’t no rabbit food,” says Segal, who co-founded his tea shop chain in 2008 but left his role as the company’s brand ambassador last year in part to build the Mad Radish brand.

Segal feels there’s a dearth of the type of healthy, filling options in Canada, pointing to the number of burger joints dotting the landscape. Segal sees those fast-food places as Mad Radish’s biggest competition.

He shrugs off suggestions that chains catering to health-conscious eaters have become more abundant, with even fast-food operators adding salads to their menus.

Freshii (TSX:FRII), for example, operates 301 stores across 15 countries as of March 26, 2017, according to financial documents. The chain, which espouses a nutritionally dense, fresh food philosophy of eating, plans to grow to 840 restaurants worldwide by the end of 2019.

Chipotle Mexican Grill operates 17 restaurants in Canada as of the end of last year, according to its most recent annual report. The burrito chain touts its food as containing farm-sourced ingredients that are prepared by hand.

Segal says Chipotle doesn’t fall within the same category as Mad Radish, while the challenge with Freshii is taste.

He highlights his chef’s fine-dining background and the limited menu selection — a dozen salads, containing complex, fresh ingredients prepared in-house — as a big differentiator.

“Our goal is to be world class at salad,” he says.

Mad Radish will open a second Ottawa location July 24, and Segal says he’s planning for up to five more eateries in 2018. He says to expect additional locations in his Ottawa hometown, as well as Montreal and Toronto.

Locations won’t be limited to downtown streets. Segal believes the concept will work in suburban food deserts offering little more than burgers and fries, as well as alternative spots like airports.

“We’ll keep going as long as we have customers out there that are loving what we’re doing,” he says.

Just Posted

Suspect arrested after collision in stolen truck

Driver faces charges in court today

WATCH: From humble beginnings Red Deer-based wrestling promotion is growing

It wasn’t that long ago that Dylon Featherstone and the Canadian Wrestling… Continue reading

WATCH: Families make yo-yos and weaved yarn at Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery

It was all about making yo-yos and yarn bombing at Red Deer… Continue reading

Solve mysteries with Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in Red Deer

At three sold-out one act Sherlock Holmes plays in Red Deer, theatre… Continue reading

WATCH Replay Red Deer Feb. 18: Your weekly news highlights

Watch news from Red Deer and Central Alberta

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Toddler breaks leg after boot sucked into escalator at Vancouver airport

VANCOUVER — A Calgary woman is reminding parents about the dangers of… Continue reading

Liberals looking at creating use-it-or-lose-it leave for fathers, Trudeau says

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is raising the idea of creating… Continue reading

Trump gets angry about election meddling, but not at Russia

‘Weirdest thing’: Trump expresses anger, but not over Russian election-meddling

New doping charge could hurt Russia’s chance at reinstatement

Russia could lose its chance to be reinstated before the end of the Winter Olympics because of a doping charge against curling bronze medallist Alexander Krushelnitsky.

#Metoo movement causing confusion in many men, fear of missteps with women: experts

Being painted by the same sweeping brush as those alleged to have mistreated women has angered men

Virtue and Moir break their own world record

Virtue and Moir break short dance record to sit first in ice dance at Olympics

Calgary man dies in Mexico following sudden illness

Troy Black was with his wife, Lindsay, in Puerto Vallarta when he began vomiting blood on Thursday

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month