America’s 1st Certified Organic QSR Is Giving Sport Fans What They Want

Foodable had the chance to catch up with The Organic Coup, the first certified organic fast food restaurant, once again, but this time at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. On this episode of On Foodable, Paul Barron sits down with the brand’s founder, Erica Welton, to talk about latest achievements and future plans.

We first learned about The Organic Coup in 2016 when Foodable had the chance to visit its first location to learn about the brand in depth. Although the certified organic fried chicken remains at the core of this fast food concept with the fried chicken sandwich still being the favored menu item, the brand has started to develop six grab-and-go retail products that are currently featured at some Whole Food locations in Northern California.

This fast food joint has grown to 10 locations in just a little over three years. However, Welton believes that when she looks back at the brand’s history one day she’ll say that the “breakout moment” for The Organic Coup came once it opened a concession shop at a major sports venue like Oracle Park (formerly known as the AT&T Park), home of the San Francisco Giants.

We’re at the “San Francisco Giants ballpark and of course that was not part of the business plan, not a part of our original thought process...,” says Welton. “but, the San Francisco Giants, they had so many fan requests... requesting organic, clean, healthy food... food that they can feel good about eating… and some of their executives had been eating in our San Francisco location and so they brought us over.”

This lead The Organic Coup to later open at the Levi’s Stadium, home of the 49ers. In the last game of the season— during the College National Championship Game— the brand ended up closing as the No. 1 concession stand for the stadium making $37,000 in just four hours.

Check out the video above to learn more about what sets this fast food concept apart to get a clue to their success!

Joe Nader of Ford Field Talks Stadium Food Trends

Joe Nader of Ford Field Talks Stadium Food Trends

By Dorothy Hernandez, Foodable Contributor

Local food is a trend that’s not going away, but for chef Joe Nader, that word gets tossed around a lot. It’s not just about sourcing food from urban gardens and farms (which is important, of course) — it goes beyond that.

“What we're talking about is local brands and signature foods,” says Nader, who is the executive chef at Levy Restaurants at Ford Field in Detroit where he oversees every aspect of foodservice in the 65,000-seat stadium, including 132 luxury suites, five mini restaurants, 40-plus general concessions, The Hall of Legends Restaurant, and catering. 

“You can't come to Detroit and not have a coney dog, right? These are signature things … it doesn’t make any sense if you're coming in to a game for the Lions and you can't get a proper coney dog or you’re not gonna get Slows Bar BQ. These are things you come to expect in Detroit … that’s really what the local thing means to me, creating signature dishes or signature items or iconic brands that bring in the fans.”

Nader has been at Ford Field since 2005, when he returned to his native Detroit to take a job as executive sous chef for Levy Restaurants at Ford Field. Prior to that, he was working in California where he honed his chops in the fast-paced, upscale boutique hospitality industry. The following year he was promoted to executive chef after Super Bowl XL. 

When he’s not feeding 65,000 on game day, he’s also advocating for childhood nutrition and food access for all Detroiters. Last year he testified before the U.S. Subcommittee of Nutrition of the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture. 

Below, Nader talks to Foodable about partnering with local brands, how Ford Field has been at the forefront of stadium trends, and the shift from tailgate culture.

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