Colorado-based MAD Greens, a fast-casual brand known for its premier salads, juices, wraps, and paninis, began its national expansion last month with its first openings outside of its home state. Crowds of thousands waited in line for its openings in Tempe and Scottsdale, Arizona, indicating strong demand and setting the stage for the chain’s southwestern expansion.

The restaurant celebrated both Arizona openings on the same day with its trademark Free Salad Day. The events drew the largest single-day crowds since the company started its Free Salad Days, attracting 3,000 guests who waited in long lines to try the new concept.

“Expanding beyond Colorado has been a longtime dream that I’m happy to say is now a reality,” says MAD Greens cofounder and chief strategy officer Marley Hodgson. “We knew Arizona would be receptive to our fun approach to eating better, and the incredible public response in our first few weeks is testament to the high demand for fresh, locally sourced ingredients that exists throughout the Southwest.”

In September, MAD Greens will open its second Scottsdale location (Hilton Village) and its first Phoenix location (7th and McDowell). The restaurant will also announce expansion plans into a third state. Additional Colorado locations will open before the end of the year.

“We look forward to continuing to feed the hunger for the outstanding service, better-for-you food, and fresh ingredients that has made MAD Greens a staple in Colorado,” Hodgson says.

Founded in 2004, MAD Greens has built a loyal following for its healthful, ‘crave-able,’ and customizable menu, highlighted by create-your-own salads topped with premium, farm-fresh ingredients. Certified ‘Dressing Mixologists’ make more than 20 salad dressings from scratch each morning. 

The chain currently has 15 locations and will finish 2015 with 21 locations.

MAD Greens also supports local companies and farmers whenever possible. In Colorado, it started its own farm in partnership with Agriburbia in 2013. In Arizona, the restaurant is initially partnering Abby Lee Farms and Duncan Family Farms and is still seeking local growers and products.

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