Blair Stevens is founder and brand president for The Chopped Leaf.
What is The Chopped Leaf and how is it different in the market?
Stevens: The Chopped Leaf is a national quick-service restaurant (QSR) brand that serves a premium product dedicated to quality, freshness, and originality!
We do our mighty best to deliver a full-service guest experience that is atypical in the QSR market. Our goal is to make it possible for each of our guests to obtain a healthy and tasty meal that leaves them feeling good after they eat.
There’s no doubt that our recipes and signature flavours set us apart from the competition. We always say: Just go try our food! Natural and fresh ingredients are the foundation of our delicious salads, bowls, soups and sandwiches. We deliver delectable food into a comfortable design and top it off with some great service.
Additionally, this brand would be nothing without our hand-picked franchise partners and team members. Each and every one of them exemplifies energetic attitude, collaborative work ethic and innovative talent.
Can you give me a scope of when the company started, first location and how many locations you have?
Stevens: The first brick-and-mortar Chopped Leaf location opened its doors in May 2009 in my home town, Kelowna, B.C. Today we have 81 locations open with another 31 committed and gearing to open.
Why did you start this?
Stevens: In 2008, my young family, much like many others, was in a perpetual state of controlled chaos and we struggled to find great-tasting, fresh, wholesome products on the go. After diving in, we found a gap in the marketplace that we knew we could fill!
Already familiar with the restaurant industry we didn’t hesitate to take on this new challenge. We were confident in our ability to develop a delicious and healthy menu that catered to busy lives like ours, individuals with dietary restrictions and those who just love good food.
What’s your vision for the company and its future and growth?
Stevens: Our mission is to be the national leader in the QSR industry, giving every consumer the opportunity to get a delicious, feel-good-after-you-eat meal.
We will continue to be a team-oriented business rooted in positivity, integrity, open communication and continuous development.
We’ve set our sights on continuing expansion in Canada and the United States, establishing our brand, our values and our unwavering commitment to excellence. And, of course, have fun doing it.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received on being an entrepreneur?
Stevens: You’re only as strong as the team around you. It’s not a solo competition.
Interviewed by Mario Toneguzzi, a Troy Media business reporter based in Calgary.