Native Foods Cafe Expands To The East Coast

By on June 12, 2014


Native Foods Cafe, the nation’s premier fast casual, plant-based restaurant group, headquartered in Chicago and serving from scratch, chef-crafted fare, announces its expansion plan, including two Washington DC locations — the first on the East Coast — to open this summer at Washington Market Square at 701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW and at 1150 Connecticut Ave. NW.

The fresh food concept, which is making vegan mainstream with deliciously diverse and highly accessible recipes, recently received $15 million in new capital, on top of $10 million in 2012. The company also brought on former Chipotle CFO John Miller and Director of Culinary Innovation Steve Petusevsky, the chef who launched Whole Foods Market’s culinary program and wrote “The Whole Foods Market Cookbook: A Guide to Natural Foods with 350 Recipes” (Clarkson Potter, 2002).

Also joining the Native team are Melissa Massey and Tracy Sinnott, two regional directors of operations who formerly worked for other top restaurant groups. Native Foods Cafe is slated to expand to over 200 locations in the next five years, making vegan mainstream.

“When we moved our headquarters from California to Chicago and witnessed the positive reception as we grew the Chicagomarket, we were overwhelmed,” said Daniel Dolan, CEO and co-owner of Native Foods Cafe. “There’s no typical profile of a Native guest. People from all walks of life and all backgrounds regularly visit our restaurants — and 85 percent of them are neither vegan nor vegetarian.”

The team committed to Native Foods Cafe’s expansion is headed by husband-wife entrepreneurs Andrea McGinty and Dolan. McGinty started It’s Just Lunch, one of the world’s top matchmaking services, on a shoestring budget. Together, McGinty and Dolan built the company into the world’s largest dating service- McGinty appearing as an expert on Oprah, CNN and CNBC – before selling it.

Native Foods Cafe’s menu also accommodates people with dietary restrictions. Aside from all food being dairy- and meat-free, there are also gluten-free, nut-free and soy-free options, as well as handy online guides and indications on the menu for ordering according to dietary needs.

Visit for a list of current and confirmed new locations and for more details about the company.

About Dean Iodice