Fresh options for eating downtown are getting healthier.
There was a flurry of activity at 1 Main St. this week as Jonathan Blob, entrepreneur and owner of the new restaurant, "freshii," was conducting training and finalizing operations with his staff.
Freshii, next to Starbucks off Parker Harding Plaza, has been completely renovated and will open Monday as a healthy -- and fast -- dining option for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is the latest outlet in a chain founded in 2005 in Toronto, which features "a menu of salads, burritos, wraps, rice bowls, yogurts, breakfast and soups made with high-quality, fresh ingredients," according to the Freshii website.
Blob was clearly excited about opening his restaurant in the historic old library building, and looks forward to becoming part of the community. He has hired a diverse group of 15 to 20 employees from Westport.
Freshii is creating a new niche in the "fast-casual" food to go or stay, "like Panera and Chipotle, it's a healthier option but a similar set up," Blob explained. "Food on the go can be healthy."
"When I was looking for locations," Blob, who has the freshii franchise rights for Fairfield and Westchester counties, explained, "Westport was on the A-list."
"I see the perfect customer, someone that is active, health conscious and that is interested in knowing what they are eating," he said.
Out front, freshii has been approved for outdoors seating that could accommodate up to 20-25 seats along Post Road East.
Inside, a "table of food elements" is displayed prominently on the wall. "It's modeled after the periodic table of elements, It's all the ingredients that freshii offers. The top right corner lists the healthy benefits of each individual ingredient," Blob said. "It's a way to educate the customer. At the same time you can customize any offering you want."
"Westport is my flagship. I envision up to 10 Freshii locations over the next several years," Blob told the Westport News. "I am looking all over Fairfield and Westchester counties. Greenwich, Fairfield, New Canaan, Scarsdale, Rye, Stamford and Norwalk are all prime locations."
Blob and his wife moved to Greenwich from New York City about a year ago, shortly after they got married. He has a degree in economics from Duke University. "My wife actually went to Duke as well, we met at our five year collage reunion," he said.
"In my previous career I analyzed and invested in a wide spectrum of consumer companies with a specific focus on restaurants, for a private fund. Freshii came across my radar. Again, that healthy, fast-casual niche positioning is one that's among the fastest growing in restaurants."
For information, check, https://www.freshii.com/us/locations/connecticut/westport