Source, Philadelphia Business Journal, Kenneth Hilario
Phoenix-based, health-conscious brand True Food Kitchen will open on July 19 in a newly constructed property across the JCPenney at the King of Prussia Mall. I spoke with CEO Christine Barone on the company’s expansion in Greater Philadelphia.
What attracted True Food Kitchen to King of Prussia?
King of Prussia is one of the most iconic malls in the nation and home to some of the most notable retailers and restaurants.
As we began to develop our East Coast growth strategy, the premier shopping destination of King of Prussia, which caters to local shoppers and tourists alike, was a highly attractive location to introduce new guests to True Food.
What is the plan for additional locations in the region?
King of Prussia marks the brand’s 20th restaurant location nationwide and our first in Pennsylvania, which is a milestone for a brand whose early growth and development centered around the Southwest — Arizona, California, Texas and Colorado.
Since then, we’ve expanded our offering in new markets in Northern California, Illinois, Florida, Georgia, Virginia and, most recently, Maryland. While we don’t have a second Philadelphia location on the development calendar at the moment, we are looking for the next right site in the region.
What is the competitive landscape?
True Food is in a category of its own, and I’m confident our fans and loyal guests agree there’s just something that sets True Food Kitchen apart — from our nutrient-rich ingredients to our flavor-forward menu that rotates regularly, and from our open kitchen that demonstrates our transparency in the preparation of all of our dishes to our lively scratch bar featuring seasonal cocktails.
That said, there are many incredible restaurants in Philadelphia who share our commitment to health, freshness, quality and creativity. We’re inspired by and appreciate when our values align with other like-minded restaurants.
How will you compete?
We know the key to our success is in delivering an incredible experience to every guest every day, and that starts with the great team that we have hired in Philadelphia.
We invest heavily in our team and have some of the most extensive training in the industry, from what it means to deliver great hospitality to tasting and preparing all of our dishes and ingredients. Our culinary team also works year round on menu innovation — seeking new ingredients, flavor profiles and preparations.
We will continue to create, evolve, innovate and change our menu regularly to encourage exploration and introduce our guests to new ingredients and distinctive flavors while remaining true to our original belief that food should make you feel better — not worse — and that you shouldn’t have to sacrifice taste to live a healthier lifestyle.