May 24, 2018
May 24, 2018
EDWARDSVILLE — A new clean eating option is set to open soon.
Clean Eatz, at 6724 Old Troy Road in Edwardsville, is set to open this month.
“I want everything to be perfect. I want everything to be amazing,” said co-owner Sara Sanderson.
She, along with her sister-in-law and co-owner, Cindy Sanderson, is preparing for the opening.
Former Edwardsville residents Don and Evonne Varady started the franchise restaurant. The couple previously owned and operated the Lo-Cal Café for several years in Edwardsville but when they moved to the East Coast, they started Clean Eatz. The Edwardsville location will be the franchise’s 50th.
“We’ve brought it back full circle,” Sara Sanderson said. “I grew up with Don in Holiday Shores. I watched Don and Evonne grow the brand. It’s been truly impressive. I reached out to Don about two years ago about opening a restaurant here.”
Sanderson said the idea of opening the restaurant came after she decided to live a healthier lifestyle. She had a career in sales for 12 years, but worked in restaurants while attending Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
So, the Sanderson women decided to open the restaurant.
“We’re making it a family business. Cindy is keeping her full-time job for now, but she’ll be here nights and weekends,” Sanderson explained.
The sisters-in-law visited six other Clean Eatz’ locations, including the franchise’s first, in Wilmington, North Carolina, before starting work on the Edwardsville location.
Sara Sanderson said that people familiar with the Lo-Cal Café should like Clean Eatz.
“It’s about clean eating with natural fruits, vegetables and proteins, along with healthy fats and whole grains,” she said. “We’re backing away from refined grains, sugar, sodium and unhealthy fats.”
The restaurant will offer dine-in and carry-out options. Dine-in customers will order at the counter and servers will bring the food out to their table.
“Almost all our entrees come with a side and drink,” Sanderson said.
Drinks will include fruited water, unsweetened tea, and non-aspartame Crystal Light.
Clean Eatz also will offer grab-and-go meals.
“These are frozen, ready–made meals,” Sanderson explained. “We’ll also have family meals with four servings for $17.99.”
One thing that makes Clean Eatz different from other restaurants will be the weekly meal plans offered by the restaurant.
Customers will receive an email message with the choices for the week ahead on Thursday. They can sign up for meals by Sunday night, and pick them up on Monday. There is discounted pricing for multiple meals, and customized meals will be available.
“Each meal feeds one person. You can sign up for as many as you want,” Sanderson said. “I think it’s a service that people are looking for.”
Sanderson said the restaurant is for those who want to “lose, gain or maintain weight.” They also will offer vegan and glucose-free options.
“You can tell us what you want to do and how you want to eat,” she said. “For example, if you’re doing Whole 30 or a paleo plan, or some other plan, we can help you.”
The menu has bison and turkey burgers. There also will be salmon, shrimp and shredded beef. Each items’ calorie content is listed on the menu board and further nutrition information is available.
The restaurant will seat 46 for inside dining and employ up to 12 people.
“It’s hard to guess if dine-in or carry-out will do better,” Sanderson said.
She is eager to open, she noted.
“We’ve gotten a lot of love on social media and also by people just stopping by to see what we’re doing.”
A new restaurant is coming to Edwardsville in May.
Crushed Red will be moving into the new building at 222 East Park, at the intersection of Park and South Buchanan.
“We’ve been very excited about Edwardsville,” said Powell Kalish, the Chief Development Officer with Crushed Red. “We’ve been looking in Edwardsville for three years. We like the mix of the day population and the night population with the college and the courts and the businesses downtown.”
Crushed Red was founded in St. Louis.
There are three restaurants in St. Louis and there are franchises in Denver and Columbia, Mo. “We’re opening in Overland Park, near Kansas City, and in Chesterfield in March,” Kalish said.
“We describe Crushed Red as elevated fast casual,” Kalish said, adding that they were known for their salads. “Salads are the stars of our game. We have some that are already dressed or you can craft your own,” he said. “The salad is chopped and dressed in front of you.”
They also offer small pizzas that cook in two minutes, soups, and sharables, or appetizers. “We have a good selection for health conscious diners. We also have a lot of organic,” Kalish said.
The restaurant also offers beer and wine. “We have leather seats, linen tablecloths, and real glassware and china,” Kalish said. The restaurant is 100 percent sustainable, he added, meaning that they compost and recycle everything used. “We can do this because we use real china and glassware,” he said.
“The atmosphere shifts at night,” Kalish said. “We dim the lights and pull the shades. We have people stay a little longer at night.”
Kalish said the restaurant started when the owners saw a need. “People wanted high quality ingredients and atmosphere,” he said. “We saw that there was a gap between Chipotle and full service.” They also recognized the desire for healthier choices, he said.
“We kept the price point in line with fast casual,” he said, “but we have higher quality, health conscious ingredients.”
Some locations are franchised, Kalish said, but those in the St. Louis area are company-owned. The Edwardsville location will be company-owned.
“We’re always looking for new opportunities. We are always looking to see where we might be a good fit,” Kalish said.
The Edwardsville location will have approximately 100 interior seats, with an additional 25 outside when weather permits. There will probably be about 30 employees, Kalish said, with 12 to 15 staff per shift. They will be a mix of full-time and part-time.
“We usually start hiring about 45 days before opening,” Kalish said. “Once we have a more firm timeline, we’ll know when that is.”