A chain is born
Snappy Salads, the uber-healthy, environmentally conscientious, upscale salad spot that first opened on Preston Forest in 2006, is moving forward into mini-chaindom. On December 19, a branch will open in Richardson on Campbell Road, west of 75. It'll have Snappy's trademark fast-casual semi-buffet setup, upscale food options and eco-friendly stance.
But it'll be the first Snappy Salads to sell beer and wine, says founder Chris Dahlander.
"We'll have beer and wine by bottle and half-bottle," he says. "For all future stores, we'll hope to have beer and wine, and as we can, we'll retrofit our other stores too."
"For all future stores, we'll hope to have beer and wine, and as we can, we'll retrofit our other stores too," says Snappy Salads founder Chris Dahlander.
In addition to the founding branch, Snappy Salads also has locations at Northpark Center and in Plano.
Dahlander was previously a director of marketing for Brinker International, where he got a view of how big, successful chains worked. But he wanted to do something different and healthy.
The salads are made to order and represent a big step above the usual salad-buffet chain, using gourmet ingredients such as grilled salmon.
The stores also toe a strict environmental line, with nontoxic paints, ecologically friendly packaging and recycled materials. The Richardson branch, which took over an old tae kwon do studio, is no exception.
"The wood is reclaimed from a warehouse in Kentucky that was built in 1930s," Dahlander says. "We had the stools made special. For our first store, they were from Pottery Barn. But these use reclaimed wood. We use vintage mason jars for lighting fixtures, and the bathroom has vintage Dr Pepper bottles made into a chandelier."
The location is prime material for Snappy Salads, he says.
"I like the site because it seems to fit with our core audience, which is a predominantly busy person who has more money than time," he says. "We look for high daytime population in an area that has high-tech or white-collar people who like to eat out for lunch but are looking to eat healthier."
Lunch is a slam-dunk, but the wine-and-beer component will be a draw at dinner, and Dahlander has chosen some distinctive options.
"We'll carry Kenwood, either Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, and either Pinot Noir or Beaujolais," he says. "Those are vegan-friendly wines; they use diatomaceous earth instead of egg white as a filter. I'm excited about my beer too. We have Omission, a gluten-free beer that tastes like beer, and Xingu, a black beer from the Amazon. Every purchase sends money back to protect the rain forest. It's the perfect fit for us."
A Southlake location will open in spring 2013, and Dahlander has his eye on a couple more locations in Dallas.
"We'll be a chain pretty soon," he says.