Oprah was into wellness long before the term became a buzzword. She’s been talking about the power of self-care for years, is a pro at transcendental meditation, and has used her influence to support healthy weight-loss company Weight Watchers. And, her desire to prioritize well-being is only growing—so much so, in fact, that she’s decided to make an equity investment in a rapidly growing health-focused restaurant chain.
True Food Kitchen—created by Andrew Weil, MD, founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine—has been spreading quickly since its launch in 2008. It currently has 23 locations spanning 10 states, but with Winfrey’s financial contribution as well as masterful strategy skills that she’ll share as a member of the brand’s board of directors, it plans to double its store count in the next three years, according to an emailed press release from the company. The expansion is already in motion: By the end of the year, you can expect to see locations in Nashville, Tennessee, and Jacksonville, Florida, and additional areas of focus are New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Maryland, and Florida.
The restaurant chain’s seasonal menu follows Dr. Weil’s anti-inflammatory food pyramid, so the thoughtful meals are prepared using wholesome, simple ingredients. Once Winfrey’s trainer, exercise physiologist Bob Greene, introduced her to the restaurant, she was hooked—not only on its food program but also on its ability to establish community.
“I love bringing people together over a good meal. When I first dined at True Food Kitchen, I was so impressed with the team’s passion for healthy eating and, of course, the delicious food that I knew I wanted to be part of the company’s future.” —Oprah Winfrey
“I love bringing people together over a good meal. When I first dined at True Food Kitchen, I was so impressed with the team’s passion for healthy eating and, of course, the delicious food that I knew I wanted to be part of the company’s future,” she says in the press release.
After discussing her potential investment with the chain’s CEO Christine Barone, it didn’t take long for her to become part of the brand. Barone says she hopes Winfrey’s influence will “allow even more guests to experience a better way of eating.”
With people becoming increasingly conscious about what they feed their body, this restaurant is already set up to be a success. But with Winfrey onboard? World domination is all but inevitable.
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