Clearview Market Square will soon boast another eating option.
The Chopped Leaf, a Kelowna-based fast-food chain specializing in salads, wraps, soups and sandwiches, is scheduled to open in the shopping centre early next month.
Blair Stevens, the business’s founder and CEO, said The Chopped Leaf appeals to people looking for a healthy but tasty meal.
“Our dressing and soups are made from scratch, along with our croutons, pitas and cookies,” he said.
The salads, wraps and sandwiches are chef-designed, added Stevens, and customers can also choose their own ingredients from a selection of about 50.
Gluten-free and vegan options are available, he said.
“It’s a big part of our brand.”
Stevens, who grew up in Edmonton, previously founded the Wok Box Asian franchise. In 2009, he opened The Chopped Leaf in Kelowna, where he now lives.
“I learned from the goods and bads of what we did with the Wok Box and hopefully took all of the goods to The Chopped Leaf world.”
The Red Deer franchise will be the seventh in Alberta, with six more in British Columbia. More are coming, with expansion into Saskatchewan and Manitoba planned.
“We have six stores actually under construction today.”
The Chopped Leaf network could easily be much broader, said Stevens.
“We could be at double the stores we’re on, but we’re just making sure we align with the best franchise partners possible.”
Stevens said smaller markets like Red Deer have proven to be good locations for The Chopped Leaf. He’s also quite familiar with this city.
“It’s going to be tough on the labour side of things, but we’re excited with the way Red Deer’s going — the economy.”
The initial phase of Clearview Market Square is now full, but developer Melcor Developments Ltd. is building a 17,000-square-foot building to the west, with a 10,000-square-foot building and a 5,000-square-foot building also planned for nearby.
National child-care business Kids & Company will occupy the upper floor of the two-storey 17,000-square-foot building.
Melcor is currently seeking tenants for the main floor of the building, which could accommodate four or five commercial tenants, said Jesse Rudge, vice-president of Melcor’s property development division.