Thrive President and CEO John Rolfe has been wanting to add a healthy fast food type of option to its offerings for some time.
“We’re just seeing a real shift in the market,” he said of diners who want healthier options quickly.
Although Thrive could have started their own quick, casual healthy concept, Rolfe said, “You don’t have to do everything yourself.”
He was watching the modern market.
We saw what they did and how they dealt with it. . . . They asked for this thing. “
Thrive has purchased three existing modern markets in Austin and signed a development deal to do 41 more businesses, some of which will overlap with the company’s existing restaurant areas.
Market areas are Austin, San Antonio, Waco, Des Moines, Northwest Arkansas, Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina, Kansas City, and Wichita.
Although Rolph doesn’t have a specific Wichita location yet, he plans to build one here within the next year.
“We can’t wait to get him here.”
Not only are the Thrive team eager to eat, Rolfe said, but said it’s important to have the concept locally to see it in action daily.
Already thriving Apple Bee’s Franchisor with 79 locations. It also has many concepts of its own. There are 13 Carlos O’Kelly The five restaurants Main Restaurants with another one on the way in Des Moines, and there’s new Pixel Therapy Salonwhich is Peace, Love and Pie repurposed from Thrive.
The modern market is more like Panera bread than McDonald’s. Restaurants are smaller than full service restaurants.
“The food is great,” Rolf said.
There are popular salads such as Thai coconut salad. protein dishes such as linear tuna with ginger-sesame sauce and green onions; And pizza over wood, including Street Corn style. Breakfast, including keto smoked salmon, is served all day. There are soups like sweet potato curry and sides like cauliflower rice. There are more fun offerings, too, including cookies—with gluten-free options—and breakfast treats, like the Pearl Sugar Waffle. There is also beer and wine.
The motto of the modern market is “All well, be happy”. Rolf described it as “a quick casual better concept for you.”
Catering is a big focus of the chain.
There aren’t any car trips yet, but Rolf said, “I wish we could figure that out.”
Rolf said he believes in the modern market leadership team and philosophy.
“Our cultures go together really well,” he said.
“It’s all about generosity and giving and looking at the health of the entire food chain,” Rolfe said. “Both organizations . . . have a high value in philanthropy.”
To celebrate the new relationship, each party donates $125,000 to the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty, a Baylor University project that uses “research, policy, and practice to develop evidence-based solutions to food challenges and economic injustice,” Thrive said. The gifts will help create a Hunger Free Zone in Kansas.
Rolf said there is a lot of energy around the concept of the modern market.
“They just learned a lot,” he said.
“It’s as if we’re starting early on something that’s going to be a high-growth concept for some time.”
This story was originally published September 12, 2022 4:47 am.
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