If you’ve made it through the past six years without eating an Evergreens salad, you’re in the minority. Childhood friends Todd Fishman and Hunter Brooks came home to Seattle to launch the fast-casual restaurant serving made-to-order fare in 2013, after living in New York City and falling in love with the options for quick, healthy meals there. A single store in 2013 turned into two in 2014, and this year marked the chain’s most aggressive growth to date. The duo now owns 30 locations, most of them in the greater Seattle area.
How did two savvy businessmen make health food actually enjoyable? Evergreens’ salads—and wraps and grain bowls—are exceptionally customizable, include a variety of textures and bold flavors, and are easily eaten at one’s desk. And Brooks and Fishman don’t just talk the talk: Among other benefits, the company’s 420 employees are all offered one meal per shift and a $40 stipend every month to spend on anything that makes their lives healthier, from a new pair of skis to yoga classes.