Paul Rizko shows off his new Freshii franchise located in the Bower Place food court on Thursday evening. Freshii opens on Friday

Paul Rizko shows off his new Freshii franchise located in the Bower Place food court on Thursday evening. Freshii opens on Friday

Freshii opens in Bower Place

A rapidly growing restaurant chain that bridges the gap between fast food and healthy eating has set up shop in Red Deer.

A rapidly growing restaurant chain that bridges the gap between fast food and healthy eating has set up shop in Red Deer.

Scheduled to open today in Bower Place, Freshii serves meals and snacks that emphasize things like fiber-rich, slow-burning carbs, essential fats and lean proteins.

“We’re the healthiest fast food around,” said company spokesperson Mia Jacobs. “We offer something for everyone: salads, grain bowls, wraps, burritos, soups and juices.

“People are also looking for restaurants that cater to dietary restrictions and we offer that. Whether you’re gluten-free, vegan, etc., we accommodate.”

Freshii outlets currently operate in Edmonton and Fort McMurray, with multiple stores planned for Calgary and elsewhere in Alberta, said Jacobs. But the chain, which has spread to more than 60 cities in 12 countries, is expanding across Canada.

Jacobs said Freshii offers a unique concept that appeals to consumers who want “healthier, quick-service options.” It also strives to minimize packaging and energy consumption, with everything customers take from the store being biodegradable or easily recyclable.

The founder of Freshii is Matthew Corrin, who at the age of 23 was inspired by the “mom and pop” delis in New York City that served fresh, healthy foods. He set out to create a restaurant brand that makes healthy food affordable and convenient, and opened the first Freshii store in Toronto 10 years ago.

The local franchisees are Tim Kalinski and Paul Rizko, with Rizko the partner/manager.

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