Steele Brands, a Minnesota-based company best known for its core concept CRISP & GREEN, announced expansion plans in the Twin Cities for their newest fast-casual brand, PURALIMA Cantina. The company is focused on growing the brand locally and nationally through franchising, with the first franchisee being one of Steele Brands’ longest and most successful CRISP & GREEN partners.
PURALIMA, which opened its first location in the Minneapolis North Loop neighborhood in July 2023, will soon expand to three Twin Cities locations with the addition of Wayzata on Lake Street and Edina in the 50th & France district, set to open by late Spring 2024. Other Twin Cities locations are set to open later in Blaine, Eden Prairie, Maple Grove, and Woodbury. Steele Brands plans to focus on opening additional locations in and around its core markets, which include several states in the Upper Midwest.
“PURALIMA Cantina has been a well-received addition in the North Loop,” says Steele Smiley, Steele Brands’ executive chairman of the board, founder, and owner. Smiley noted that the fastest growing items on U.S. menus are Latin-inspired dishes and flavors. “Americans have a growing and dominant desire for Latin-inspired cuisine, but most do not want to attempt to replicate it at home. People are excited to find convenient options that are also delicious, whole, and healthy. With our PURALIMA concept, we offer a fresh take on fast-casual dining, with scratch-made food and an experience that’s different than what diners have experienced with other large chains.”
Led by Chef Bill Fairbanks, the PURALIMA culinary team has extensive experience in Latin cuisine and uses authentic food preparation methods, creating a culinary experience that is rare in a fast casual setting. PURALIMA’s menu features a scratch-made and streamlined menu of build your own tacos, bowls, burritos, and salads, with a wide variety of options. Ingredients include, premium proteins that are marinated and cooked in-house, such as grilled chicken, steak, barbacoa, carnitas and sushi-grade ahi tuna, plus warm and cold veggies, salsas, chips, guacamole and queso. They also offer a selection of beverages including house-made limeades and top shelf margaritas. Because the process is fully customizable, there are options for everyone to enjoy, based on a person’s dietary restrictions or preferences.
Beyond the extraordinary culinary offering, PURALIMA locations feature the art and designs of local and international artists. For the North Loop space, PURALIMA partnered with Minneapolis-based artist HOTTEA to create a serape blanket-inspired art installation; a vibrant, eye-catching feature expected to be included in future locations. The intention behind every PURALIMA is to be a place where people can connect through great food within friendly, bright and inspiring spaces.