Tender Greens, the Los Angeles-born, chef-led kitchen with 24 locations throughout California and an upcoming East Coast debut in New York and Boston, announced the appointment of Denyelle Bruno as the new President of the company, joining the executive leadership team of co-founders Erik Oberholtzer and David Dressler.
Denyelle brings over 20 years’ experience in retail leadership, most recently president of Retail Operations at Drybar Holdings LLC. She is a Los Angeles native and has worked with some of the most renowned brands including Apple, Peet’s Coffee and Tea, Design Within Reach, Macy’s, and PUREBEAUTY. At Apple, she worked alongside Steve Jobs on the team that launched the first 25 Apple Stores. At Drybar, she opened 55 locations in three years, all while maintaining the company culture and enhancing the entrepreneurial spirit of the business. At Peet’s Coffee and Tea, she systemized the entire enterprise which improved the guest experience and operational metrics. Denyelle holds a Master’s in organizational design from the University of San Francisco.
Tender Greens is a group of chef-led kitchens whose mission is to bring delicious and well-sourced “home cooking” to people in its communities. Now that the company is poised for even more explosive growth, they have an opportunity to bring good food, real food and whole food beyond Southern California to even more people and communities across the country.
David Dressler, who previously held the position of president, will now serve as the company’s first-ever Chief People Officer. David has always worn many hats: operations leader, growth capital financier, strategic visionary—the list goes on. But his passion has always been to work with the teams directly to promote the company’s values, develop their teammates and help everyone reach their full potential. David will now focus almost entirely on providing more meaningful career opportunities and advancement for Tender Greens’ 1,100 employees.
Co-founder Erik Oberholtzer will continue to serve as CEO of the company while doubling down on pushing the teams to deliver the best product, service, branding and social impact, as well as coaching the company’s leaders and working closely with their investors to ensure financial success. He will simultaneously act as a champion of the Tender Greens culture and the company’s role as an agent of social change.
“After an extensive search, we feel incredibly lucky to have found an exceptional leader with the right combination of emotional intelligence, empathy, warmth, integrity, and an outstanding reputation scaling companies like ours to help guide Tender Greens through this next phase,” says David Dressler, Chief People Officer at Tender Greens. “Denyelle has the specific expertise to grow our operations, marketing, branding and real estate footprint faster and better than we can do alone and to navigate the challenges faced by large, complex companies. And—most importantly—we picked Denyelle because she carries the culture of Tender Greens in her DNA.”
“I have honestly not met with a group of founders, investors and board members who felt more aligned on the culture, the strategy and the vision of their organization,” says Denyelle Bruno, President of Tender Greens. “It's all very inspiring and I am fully energized to jump in.”
Tender Greens was created and founded in Culver City, Los Angeles in 2006 by two chefs and a foodie, Erik Oberholtzer, Matt Lyman and David Dressler. They met in 2002 while working at a luxury hotel by the beach and grew weary of the corporate work environment. On their days off, they couldn’t afford to eat at the type of restaurants that served the fine dining quality food they had become accustomed to, while the widely available/affordable option was unhealthy often processed fast food. They decided to start their own restaurant to meet this need and “democratize” fine dining food, making it delicious, healthful, seasonal and affordable. This new “fine casual” approach combined the best of both dining worlds, serving really good seasonal and responsibly-sourced food to as many people as possible, so everyone can eat well, every day. Ultimately, Tender Greens revolutionized what “fast food” meant and paved the way for a slew of other fine casual concepts in LA and beyond.
In 2015, the company announced a strategic investment and alliance with acclaimed restaurateur Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group to enable the brand to grow in California and beyond. There are currently 24 California locations in Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County and the Bay Area, and two upcoming East Coast locations in New York City and Boston in early 2018.
Open for lunch and dinner, the restaurants serve the kind of comfort food chefs love to cook for themselves and their families—in a modern, relaxed environment that is accessible daily. Each restaurant’s design and specials are unique to the neighborhood it serves, and each kitchen is helmed by a classically trained Executive Chef ensuring that everything is made with the utmost care and attention.
Beyond its flavorful food and warm hospitality, Tender Greens continues to attract a loyal local following thanks to the founders’ progressive thought-leadership, commitment to its communities, 360° commitment to sustainability, and value in innovation with their farming partners.
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