Edit ModuleShow Tags

Franchise Spotlight: Freshii


Published:

Freshii, Twin Cities, Gaviidae Common, Minneapolis
Freshii in Gaviidae Common. Photos by Jason DeRusha.

We like to focus on local restaurants in Minnesota Monthly, but the truth is, many of us eat at franchise and chain restaurants, too. Once a month I intend on talking to people running those places, and trying out food at new spots to let you know what’s worth your money.

Give Freshii credit. This franchise wasn’t even on my radar locally until they sent out a press release taking advantage of Chipotle closing down for a nationwide food safety meeting Monday. Freshii offered 50 percent off all Mexican-inspired menu items “We at Freshii are big fans of Chipotle,” CEO Matthew Corrin said in a statement. “We figured the least we would do was look after their customers while Chipotle pauses to recalibrate.”

Brilliant, right?

The Menu
​Freshii is a fast-casual spot with salads, wraps, bowls, and burritos. It’s designed to be fresh(ii!) and better for you—the hottest trend in food right now. Items are priced between $6-8, and the average customer spends about $10 a visit.

The Vibe
Bright and eco-friendly, the location inside Gaviidae Common in the downtown Minneapolis skyway is very busy. The average lunch will see about 300 customers move quickly through a line that starts at 11:30 a.m. and doesn’t stop until after 1 p.m.

How’s The Food?
It’s good! I tried the Pangoa bowl: brown rice, avocado, black beans, corn, tomatoes with cilantro, and a spicy barbeque sauce. You can add a protein for an extra charge, such as steak, tofu, or chicken. This thing was huge and I couldn’t finish it.

I also tried a Market wrap: greens, quinoa, beet slaw, apples, and dried cranberries. The food here is really beautiful. Bright colors and strong flavors make you forget that you’re eating healthy.

Freshii, Minneapolis, Twin Cities

The Owner
Scott McPhee grew up in South Minneapolis, and he used to run 200 Tires Plus franchises. From tires to salads? “Franchises are all about training and operations. Hire good people!” he said. Frankly, they’re not that different. Scott got turned on to Freshii after he sold his Tires Plus locations and retired, but found he was too young to golf all day every day. One of his daughters is a vegetarian and another is gluten-free, so when they experienced Freshii in Chicago, they thought it would do well here.

Bottom Line
I’ve had Freshii in Chicago too, and didn’t know it was a chain. I really like it—so many options to customize your food. It’s quick, easy, and as healthy as you want it to be. Currently Freshii is being tested as a replacement for the old Target Cafés inside the stores. McPhee also would like to see Freshiis on campuses and inside large corporate cafeterias. For now, you can go to Gaviidae, Mall of America, and Southdale to try Freshii out for yourself.

Freshii, Twin Cities, Minneapolis
Freshii Pangoa bowl

www.freshii.com

Have a franchise or chain restaurant you want me to check out? Post in the comments or email me:  DeRushaJ (at) gmail.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Taste Blog

VOTE: Girl Scouts Team Up with Hi-Lo Diner

Girl Scout cookie pies, donuts, and shakes—and you choose the local troop to get the sale

Pepito’s to Become El Burrito Minneapolis

The Pepito’s/Parkway Theater combo is sold to local entrepreneurs who have a restaurant tenant and theater remodeling plans.

James Beard Semifinalists Are Cheaper by the Dozen

Ten chefs and two restaurants were named to the 2018 James Beard Award semifinalist list

Banana Pudding Pie Recipe

Make some new sweet memories with a retro dessert

Bonterra Vineyards and the Future of Organic Farming

Learn how Bonterra Organic Vineyards set the standard for organic winemaking, then sample Bonterra at this year's Food & Wine Experience March 3-4, 2018

10 Best Friday Fish Fries for Lent

Christian or not, get your fried fish here around the Twin Cities

3 Things to Eat This Week: Valentine's Edition

If you forgot to make reservations for Valentine's Day week, you're not too late—these, ahem, romantic spots will still have you

Kimchi and Gruyère Pizza Recipe

Step up your pizza game with outside-the-box homemade pie

Great Breakfast with Great Coffee

Stellar food, top-tier coffee—at these Twin Cities restaurants
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags