2017-11-01 / Business & Real Estate

Healthy food at affordable prices is True Food’s goal

Business BEAT
By D. K. Christi

General Manager Aaron Teegarden at True Food Kitchen’s first Florida location in Naples. General Manager Aaron Teegarden at True Food Kitchen’s first Florida location in Naples.

 The exterior catches your attention first. True Food Kitchen’s bank of windows for the indoor/ outdoor bar curve around the building. Inside, the bright green banquettes and a green TRUE sign speak to the restaurant’s philosophy: food that is real, natural and good.

 Dr. Andrew Weil and restaurateur Sam Fox founded the restaurant chain in Phoenix in 2008 based on the belief that a healthy diet is one that prevents inflammation, thought to be the cause of many illnesses. Weil’s publication, “True Food,” is available at the restaurant.
The Naples location at Waterside Shops is the first Florida site and the 22nd location in the United States. An opening in Boca Raton is planned for spring 2018.

 “Dr. Weil participated in our opening in April,” said General Manager Aaron Teegarden. “We set new opening day sales records for the chain, and this is considered a medium-sized store with up to 400 seats during season.” 

 Teegarden started his career at McDonald’s at the age of 14. After completing an environmental sciences degree at FGCU, he went back into the restaurant business. “I have worked for some of the best restaurants in Southwest Florida. What’s great here is healthy cuisine as the No. 1 corporate focus… to bring healthy choices to diners at affordable prices.” 

At the open kitchen, guests can view the preparation of meals made with fresh vegetables and fruits ready for chopping, slicing and blending into Mediterranean taste sensations, many with an Asian slant. 

The bar offers a selection of wine, local beers and seasonal cocktails made using fresh-pressed fruit and vegetables paired with organic spirits.

Most fruits and vegetables there are organic. Beef is grass-fed and traceable. Fish are sustainable and chickens are natural without exposure to hormones or antibiotics. Nearly every dietary consideration may be met from vegan to gluten-free.

“Our goal is five-star service, but our menu includes everything from burgers and pizza to sea bass. Each item is carefully planned for its nutritious content and pleasing presentation,” said Teegarden.

The menu changes seasonally and invites exploration. Fall starters include wild caught albacore tataki and edamame dumplings. Butternut squash is a fall pizza favorite. Bowls of ancient grains can be supplemented with tofu, chicken, shrimp, grass-fed steak or steelhead. Grilled fish or grass-fed steak tacos, sustainable seabass and lasagna Bolognese are just three of the many entrees.

According to Weil, True Food is a lifestyle, and it’s apparently being enjoyed by customers all over the country.

True Food Kitchen restaurant is located at Waterside Shops, next to Saks Fifth Avenue, 5375 Tamiami Trail, Naples, Fla. 34108. Call 239-431- 4580 or go to www.truekitchen.com

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