A California chain that specializes in salads is entering the Texas market, and its first restaurant location will be Dallas-Fort Worth.
Called Chop Stop, it's a fast-growing concept founded in Southern California in 2011, which recently began expanding outside its home state; a location opened in Las Vegas in June.
The first Dallas-area location will be in Frisco, at 3266 Parkwood Blvd. Bringing it to Texas are franchisees Matthew and Sable Weir, who own a number of Jimmy John's in the San Antonio area.
The restaurant is scheduled to open in July.
Dallas has a longtime love affair with chains, and has lately been a hot destination for healthy concepts. Mixt, Cava, True Food Kitchen, Flower Child, Luna Grill, Modern Market Eatery, and the similar-sounding Original ChopShop have all entered the DFW market in the past five years.
Co-owner Sable Weir says that, compared to the competition, Chop Stop has a tighter focus.
"We like to think that our differentiator is that we really focus on salads," she says. "Most of the other healthy concepts have broader menus with sandwiches, entrees, smoothies, and focus on dining in."
"We're focused on salads and only chopped salads, which we make to order," she says.
That said, it doesn't follow the Chipotle assembly-line model where ingredients are in bins and you point to what you want, nor is it a cafeteria or buffet where you help yourself.
"It's a pre-set menu with options or you can build your own, where you designate the ingredients and we build the salad behind the scenes," Weir says. "With some of those other approaches, you get a bottleneck when you get a customer who doesn't know what they want, and one of our priorities is to get your order out quickly."
The menu has a dozen salads including their top seller, the Santa Fe Chop, with their house greens mixture of iceberg lettuce and spinach, topped with chicken, black beans, avocado, pepper jack cheese, roasted corn, and crunchy tortilla strips. The BBQ Chop has barbecue chicken, black beans, corn, and chopped tomato.
All of the classic salads are represented, including a Greek Chop, Chef's Chop, Caesar Chop, Kale Chop, and Tuna Salad Chop.
Their other main category is called Chopurritos, which starts with a base of cilantro lime rice and seasoned black or white beans, to which you can add six toppings, lettuce, and salsa. Those include a Vegan Chopurrito with bell pepper, tomato, avocado, pepperoncini, and crispy wontons.
"The Chopurritos are good if you want a warm bowl, and those, as well as any salad can become a wrap," Weir says. "It's the same basic ingredients, whether you get a salad, wrap, or bowl."
Other options for the base include Romaine lettuce and quinoa, and everything is priced at $10 or less.
The restaurant will open in a brand new strip center on Parkwood that's near office buildings, residences, and a Target store at Preston Ridge. Their goal is to open at least a dozen more stores in similar neighborhoods around DFW.
"We know that salads are a heavy lunch item so we're looking for areas with a high concentration of businesses and residential," Weir says. "We like to eat healthy and felt like there weren't that many options that were fast, easy to take out, and were truly healthy."