A quick-growing fast casual out of Florida, seven-unit Bolay seeks to fuel bodies with approachable yet healthful ingredients like black rice—“The richest of all rices in disease-fighting antioxidants, dietary fiber, and anti-inflammatory properties,” says Pierre Vidal, director of culinary—quinoa, tomatoes, leafy greens, and cruciferous veggies. “We set ourselves apart as a brand by making these types of ingredients the backbone of our food,” Vidal says.
The brand’s “Bols” are built from a healthy grain like black rice that has been expertly seasoned with coconut and Kaffir lime, or a salad like the Kale Yeah that includes kale plus two kinds of cabbage and a savory roasted-onion vinaigrette. Then an array of veggies, proteins, and signature sauces can be added.
Chris Gannon, founder and CEO of Bolay, says the biggest challenge the brand has hit is having time to educate each guest. “Fast food has ruined America ... in regards to [price] expectations,” he says. Getting guests to understand that food that is good for them is not as cheap as frozen pre-packaged food has been difficult.
But Vidal and Gannon see more customers wanting to fuel their bodies and eat without guilt. “We see this growing immensely as people become more aware of what ingredients are in foods,” Gannon says. “We believe in inspiring guests to be the best versions of themselves.”