Fresh and healthy food done fast.
That’s how Karen Rogers views Freshii, the quick-serve health-oriented restaurant chain that she and her father Wolfgang Stichnothe are bringing to Guelph’s south end.
Guelph’s second Freshii store is set to open in a few weeks on the northeast corner of the Clair Road/Gordon Street intersection.
“I always had it in the back of my head that it would be nice to have a little restaurant of my own but could never really find the right thing,” Rogers says. “When this came along it was ‘yeah, this is it.’”
Freshii’s offerings include breakfast, soups, salads, wraps, bowls, burritos, frozen yogurt, juices and smoothies.
“We really like the idea of the healthy food. Having young kids it’s especially important for me to eat healthy,” Rogers said.
Going into business together is also exciting for the pair.
“I’m going to work together with Karen. Eventually I’d like to step back and say ‘here’ it’s yours to run,’ but I’m going to help her and we’re going to work together.
“I must say, I’ve discovered many fantastic qualities in her already. When there are things I mess up on, she knows exactly what to do.”
Freshi, which dubs itself as a “health-casual restaurant,” was started by a 23-year-old Winnipeg native named Matthew Corrin in 2005 in Toronto.
By the end of this year there will be 300 Freshii locations in 85 cities in 20 different countries.
Stichnothe has spent his whole life in the hospitality industry, as a chef, manager, owner and consultant of restaurants, inns and hotels.
He became interested in the Freshii brand when a former colleague told him she had semi-retired and purchased a Freshii with her daughter-in-law.
He approached his daughter, who was working an office job at the time but was looking for something new, and after looking into it further Freshii south Guelph was born.
“When my dad introduced me to the idea, my husband and kids went to try it out at one of the Waterloo restaurants and really liked the food and the concept,” Rogers said. “I thought ‘this is something we could definitely get in to.’”
Freshii is also an eco-friendly store, with everything a customer leaves the store with either recyclable or biodegradable. That includes the plastic cutlery, which is made from eco-friendly vegetable starches, like corn or potatoes to biodegrade quickly.
Rogers lives in Guelph with her husband and two children, Stichnothe lives in Elora.
“I’m very excited to be working with my daughter. It’s new and it’s great. It’s very exciting,” Stichnothe said.
Rogers said her dad’s experience is invaluable.
“And it gives me that extra added safety net, that I can draw on that experience,” she said.
Asked what the key advice he can give to his daughter after a lifetime spent working in the industry, Stichnothe said it’s about focusing on the “guest.”
“I call them ‘guests,’ not ‘customers.’ If you look after your guests and give them a good product then I think you will be successful,” he said, adding the same respect needs to be given to staff.
The location is accepting job applications for the 12 full and part-time staff it will be hiring. They can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.