Saladworks, the nation’s leading fast-casual entree salad franchise, and Frutta Bowls, a restaurant concept structured around specialty Açai bowls, will debut a co-branded restaurant location in San Juan Capistrano, CA on November 21. The new restaurant, located at 31876 Del Obispo, Suite 102, focuses on salad and Açai bowl customization through its array of over 80 fresh, flavorful and healthy ingredients – allowing guests to create a meal as original as they are. In addition to a wide array of chef-created Signature recipes, Saladworks and Frutta Bowls offer ‘create-your-own’ options, including salads, wraps, soups, bowls, smoothies, protein bites, and more.
The co-branded location is locally owned and operated by two husband-and-wife teams: Rod and Shannon Markum, and Nick and Michele Vernola – who became fast friends nearly two decades ago when their kids became friends in school. Rod is a San Juan Capistrano native whose grandfather, "Shorty" Markum, owned the first grocery market in the area from 1950 – 1975 in the Franciscan Plaza (where Selma's is located today). Collectively, the four have backgrounds in business ownership, education, project management, logistic consulting, and interior design.
Over ten years ago, when Rod and Shannon were visiting New York, they ate at a ‘make-your-own’ salad restaurant and had such a great experience that they came home and told their friends about it. They remarked how smart it would be for "someone" to start something like it in Orange County. Then, in the fall of 2020 - during Covid - Michele received a call, via LinkedIn, from WOWorks inquiring about her interest in opening a franchise on the West Coast. As an entrepreneur, she further researched and discovered Saladworks was one of their brands. After looking deeper into the franchise, she and Nick’s interest peaked. They brought the idea up to the Markums and, after much discussion, prayer, and a trip to the closest Saladworks in Northern California, the two couples decided to buy in as partners. With Rod's deep roots in San Juan Capistrano, opening in the area was a natural first choice.
“We are looking forward to bringing healthy and flavorful food options to San Juan Capistrano,” says Rod. “We plan to expand further into the area in the coming years and we look forward to continue serving the community we call home.”
Saladworks has spent years creating a menu that caters to everyone’s nutritional needs (vegetarian, vegan, flexitarian) and diets (Keto, Paleo, Whole 30, etc.). While the menu includes 12 chef-created Signatures, the Saladworks experience allows guests to express their creativity and make salads that are as original as they are, utilizing a wide range of fresh ingredients including a base of greens, grains or a combination of both. For an additional level of customization, guests can order any of these flavors as a Salad, a Warm Grain Bowl or a Wrap.
Frutta Bowls represents more than just a meal or snack to sate an appetite for the moment – it serves as “fuel” that stimulates your mind, energizes your body, lifts your spirit and feeds your soul. The menu features customizable Bowls, Smoothies, Toasts and Protein Bites that are packed with vitamin-rich superfoods such as Acai, Pitaya and Kale that are high in antioxidants along with Almonds, Blueberries, Oatmeal and Dark Chocolate to help boost immunity levels.
Open for lunch and dinner, the new local restaurant offers online ordering and delivery through third-party delivery services such as Uber Eats, GrubHub and Door Dash. Guests can join the Saladworks Rewards and Frutta Bowl Rewards program and download the app for exclusive, members-only rewards, special offers and guest perks. In addition, a full array of Catering options are available to feed any size group with fresh, flavorful and nutritious menu items – from in-home gatherings to office parties or special events – including food-safe, individual packaged meals.