Business

American salad franchise offers a fresh take on corporate lunches

Saladworks Canada CEO Paul Lalli (left) and president Tom Horler stand next to one of the company’s colourful vans that will deliver freshly prepared lunches to North Shore businesses beginning this week.  - Maria Spitale-Leisk photo
Saladworks Canada CEO Paul Lalli (left) and president Tom Horler stand next to one of the company’s colourful vans that will deliver freshly prepared lunches to North Shore businesses beginning this week.
— image credit: Maria Spitale-Leisk photo

Imagine lettuce picked in Pitt Meadows that morning, then topped with maple-glazed, wild B.C. salmon and delivered to your boardroom at noon.

Starting this week, a fresh take on corporate lunches will arrive on the North Shore. Paul Lalli, along with business partner Mark Zabel, has purchased the rights to the first Canadian Saladworks franchise.

With roots in the northeastern U.S., the restaurant chain’s mélange of mixed greens offerings and fresh toppings have proved popular with the lunchtime crowd in cities across that country.

But, as Lalli has learned through his radicchio and romaine research, Canadian palates are quite different than their American counterparts.

“We wanted to put our own Canadian stamp on it,” says Lalli.

The recipe for the aforementioned maple-glazed grilled salmon salad was created by a seasoned North Van chef that Saladworks Canada brought on board to develop their menu. After getting a taste of the salad chock full of fresh B.C. salmon, the big bosses at Saladworks headquarters went wild and added it to their American menu.

North Van is now home to Saladworks’ first-ever catering component that will be housed in a commercial kitchen near Capilano Mall. A handful of employees, including a catering ambassador, will work out of this location, hand-crafting signature soups, desserts, sandwiches, and, of course, salads that will be delivered that day to offices and schools across Vancouver and the North Shore.

“We are bringing freshness to life on the North Shore,” says Lalli.

While the menu is comprehensive with healthy options, the signature boardroom salad bar is the lunchtime showstopper. Serving 10 people, it includes minced vegetables, Chow Mein and three bottles of dressing, all compartmentalized on a recyclable tray.

Food sustainability is top of mind for Saladworks Canada, which plans on sourcing as many ingredients as possible from the Lower Mainland. The chicken and pork will come from family-run farms in the Fraser Valley.

Meanwhile, longtime North Van resident Tom Horler has been chosen to helm the marketing side of the business. Lucky for Saladworks, Horler’s ingenuity has a global reach. He led the marketing team that invented the popular McDonald’s Monopoly game.

“I would not have invested in this concept unless I felt the food was delicious,” says Horler.

To order a Saladworks lunch for your office, or for more information, visit the company’s website at saladworks.ca.

mspitale@northshoreoutlook.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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