Southern California Says Hello to Organic to Go
Source: LOS ANGELES, Sept. 6, PRNewswire
Organic to Go(TM) (O to Go) an all-natural fast casual organic cafe, catering retailer and delivery grocery company has expanded into Southern California, opening three retail stores in Los Angeles (Museum Square in Mid-Wilshire, Two California Plaza and The Gas Company downtown) with plans to open additional locations in Orange County in early Fall. Organic to Go(TM) offers consumers wholesome, prepared sandwiches, salads, soups and entrees made with all-natural, fresh ingredients.
Seattle, Washington-based, O to Go combines the convenience of a walk-in specialty grocery and cafe along with a full-service catering and prepared food delivery service. Company analysts have projected O to Go’s first year sales will be more than $8 million — indicating increased consumer demand — and spending power towards buying and consuming organic and sustainable-farmed foods. In 2004 alone, 66 percent of the U.S. population regularly purchased organic products, an increase of 55 percent from previous years. The category is estimated to reach $30.7 billion by 2007 with compounded annual growth of more than 21 percent.
"We’re pleased to offer Angelenos their first delicious and healthy option for breakfast, lunch or mid-day snack that we can deliver to their desks, into the boardroom on to a shoot location in the middle of a field. Since opening a few weeks ago, all three of our stores have greatly surpassed our expectations. It’s an exciting time for our company and the organic industry as a whole," says Organic to Go(TM) Founder and CEO Jason Brown. "We’re providing a healthier alternative to conventionally grown and processed fast-food at fair value prices."
With the rebirth of food co-ops, natural groceries and restaurants utilizing farm fresh, pesticide and hormone-free produce and meat, the founders of Organic to Go(TM) further developed the organic movement by creating a fast casual cafe and catering company which Brown launched in
Brown, who sold his last venture, Custom Nutrition Service, to Drugstore.com, formed O to Go in partnership with like-minded, green-thinking entrepreneurs including Dave Smith (Smith and Hawkin); Peter Meehan (co-founder of Newman’s Own Organics); and Doug Lioon (CEO Douglas Laboratories and alternative healthcare entrepreneur). Over the next three years, O to Go plans to operate 48 retail stores across the country, primarily on the West Coast and expand east to the central United States.
Last year, O to Go acquired the Seattle-based sandwich shop chain Briazz, Inc. out of bankruptcy. The agreement allowed O to Go to purchase all Briazz’s Washington assets and Southern California operations, setting the groundwork for its rapid West Coast expansion. O to Go’s growth was accelerated by over $4 million in investment by private individuals. In less than one year, O to Go is fully operational in Los Angeles, one of the most fiercely competitive markets in the nation.
In preparation for its Los Angeles opening on August 15, O to Go completely renovated the outdated Briazz locations. "In virtually one weekend, we remodeled the entire store," said Brown, "An outward appearance is what draws the customer in, and so we created an environment that’s bright, new and fresh — just like our product."
In keeping with its mission statement, "Delicious, Organic Food Fast," O to Go’s vendors are renown for high-quality, superior ingredients. "Cost in the past has prohibited many people from buying organic, but because of increased competition in the category, prices have come down a bit," says Brown. "We have developed O to Go on the belief that organic food should be at a price point that’s accessible to everyone."
Through an aggressive marketing and publicity campaign, O to Go is introducing its unique concept to hundreds of businesses — veritable tastemakers throughout Los Angeles. "We have a product that’s delicious, and the moment people try it, we are confident we will have a repeat customer." says Brown. "Businesses such as O to Go are reliant on positive word-of- mouth, and we know we have a product that will appeal to everyone who craves delicious, natural food that is affordably priced."
Organic To Go (TM) — Los Angeles & Orange County Store Locations
– Museum Square: 5757 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036
– Two California Plaza: 350 South Grand Avenue, Suite D6, Los Angeles,
– Gas Company: 555 West 5th Street, Suite cc56, Los Angeles, CA 90013
– Costa Mesa / South Coast Plaza: 695 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA
– Irvine/Jamboree Center: 5 Park Plaza, Suite 120, Irvine, CA 92614
– Irvine/Main Street: 2030 Main Street, Suite 130, Irvine, CA 92614
About Organic to Go
Formed in November 2004, O to Go is a retail store, caterer and meal delivery service that provides delicious and natural soups, salads, sandwiches and entrees packaged for convenient take-out or delivery. All O to Go fare is made with organic ingredients whenever possible and is always natural, wholesome and free of harmful chemicals and grown and raised with care. O to Go brings similar pricing and delivery services as other box lunch retailers and cafes, even though its ingredients are typically more costly to produce. Visit Organic to Go on the web at www.organictogo.com.