Giardino Gourmet Salads of Cary, North Carolina, a premier fast casual salad concept focused on garden-to-bowl nutritional empowerment, was the result of husband and wife owners Mario and Tania Diaz who saw a need for fresh, high-quality salads across the Triangle community after moving to Cary from Miami a little over a year ago to raise their two children.

“We were first attracted to the lifestyle and the family-focused community that Cary provides, but understood from visiting over the last 10 years that there was a growing need for real food made for fast-people focused on nutrient-dense ingredients across the Triangle,” says Mario Diaz. “Once we decided to move to Cary permanently, we knew that Giardino’s would be an ideal fit for the market. By focusing on nutritional empowerment, we’re providing our community with an alternative to traditional fast food and we’re excited about becoming a bigger part of the community as we grow.”

In order to celebrate its recent grand opening and reward its growing and loyal customer base, the restaurant is offering 20 percent off the total bill for all guests on the last two Tuesdays in February and the first two Tuesdays in March (February 21st & 28th and March 7th & 14th).

The Cary location is the second Giardino’s restaurant outside of South Florida, where Ody and Kenny Lugo, a former teacher and firefighter, developed the vision for the brand in 2004.Today, Giardino Gourmet Salads offers the largest variety of salad blends in the marketplace—over 20 different combinations—including the ability to design your own. Additionally, its signature variety of proteins, as well as homemade croutons, grain bowls, deli-style salad mixtures, wraps and soups set the brand apart from other salad offerings. The Cary Giardino Gourmet Salads offers in-restaurant dining plus delivery and catering for the surrounding community.

The Diaz’s first discovered Giardino Gourmet Salads after Mario was diagnosed with leukemia. As he fought the disease, he decided to make several new lifestyle choices, which included eating healthier. He stepped into a Giardino’s during his first day of treatment and has not looked back since.

“A diagnosis such as leukemia makes you question and re-evaluate a lot of aspects of your life,” says Mario Diaz. “We knew we had to eat healthier and the easy-to-follow business model that Giardino’s provides was a perfect fit. It’s a restaurant, but everything is made fresh. There are no fryers, no oven hoods and there was nothing like it in Cary.”

The Giardino Gourmet Salads in Cary is located at 821 Bass Pro Lane in the Harrison Square Shopping Plaza. The restaurant offers both delivery and catering and is open Monday to Friday, from 11 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“As our first location in North Carolina and our second outside of South Florida, we’re excited about our growth and the franchisees such as Mario and Tania that we have brought on board,” says Julio Ramirez, board member and investor of Giardino Gourmet Salads. “Looking ahead, we will continue to focus on expanding our presence in North Carolina, as well as Florida, as part of our aggressive development plans.”

To further fuel Giardino’s expansion across the country, the brand is actively seeking qualified single and multi-unit operators to join its unique fast casual concept. Interested entrepreneurs should possess a passion for the brand and be dedicated to serving the community. While restaurant experience is not required, ideal candidates should have an entrepreneurial spirit and sales, marketing, restaurant and/or retail experience. Depending on the real estate selected, franchisees can expect their initial investment to range from $175,000 to $300,000.

Fast Casual, News