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What Cava Grill's $16M Expansion Means for the West Coast

What Cava Grill's $16M Expansion Means for the West Coast

Co-Founders Ike Grigoropoulos, Dimitri Moshovitis, and Ted Xenohristos were onto something when the three childhood friends decided to extend their full-service restaurant, Cava Mezze, into a health-based fast-casual concept, Cava Mezze Grill, in January 2011. Cava Mezze was founded in 2006, and the trio began distributing their dips and spreads, which they still produce, in 2008.

Now, four years later, D.C.-based Cava Grill, a healthy spin on Mediterranean with locally sourced ingredients in a build-your-own format, is going national with an expansion to the west coast, thanks to a recent $16M in funding, led by VC capital firm SWaN & Legend Venture Partners.

“For the last five years, we have been methodically growing and honing our Cava Grill offering,” Cava CEO Brett Schulman told Foodable. “The reception we have received has been overwhelming and we felt the time was right to bring Cava Grill to a broader audience. The investment will help us do that with wider distribution of our dips and spreads in more regions of Whole Foods Market.”

Like Tender Greens and Sweetgreen, Cava Grill was an early driver in the ever-growing trend of chef-driven concepts in fast casual. This new wave, which began rearing its head a few years ago, is one of the many appealing factors in the rise of healthy, good-for-you fast casuals — not only to consumers, but also to investors.

“We like to say Cava is ‘a culture, not a concept,’ so it’s important for us to maintain our brand ethos,” says Schulman. “Everything from our culinary, sourcing and sustainability commitments to our team working environment. Having a partner viewing decisions through the lens of those long-term commitments as opposed to short-term financials was key.”

Read the full article here on foodabletv.com.

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