The Organic Coup, America’s first USDA-approved Certified Organic fast food restaurant, has plans to add at least four additional locations in California this year, bringing its total to 10. Co-founded by a pair of former Costco executives two years ago, The Organic Coup menu includes chicken sandwiches and wraps, bowls, sauces, beverages and popcorn – all made with 100 percent certified organic ingredients.
Co-founders Erica Welton and Dennis Hoover will be keynote speakers at the 2017 Organic Produce Summit (OPS), scheduled for July 12 and 13, in Monterey, CA. Attendees will get a firsthand opportunity to learn from the founders of The Organic Coup as they share their passion for organic food, and how their concept is revolutionizing fast food.
“Participating in OPS is a tremendous opportunity to share our story with those responsible for producing and marketing organic fresh produce," Welton said. “The future of food comes from people with deep courage, powerful voices and an unwavering vision who want to make a positive impact.”
Both Welton and Hoover stress the “Costco mindset” as a key strategy in launching The Organic Coup. Welton was responsible for introducing organic milk to Costco in 2003. The vision for an organic fast food restaurant was her response to recognizing a chasm in the marketplace as she sought an on-the-go resource for keeping her family’s commitment to eating whole and mostly organic foods. She shared the concept with Hoover, who was about to retire as senior vice president for Costco’s Bay Area region. Hoover focuses on operations, while Welton drives the organic and food aspects of the business.
There are only a small number of USDA-certified organic restaurants in the U.S., most in California. To become certified, restaurants must show that every product used in its operation -- from food to cleaning agents -- a USDA-certified organic product. The process, according to Hoover, isn’t difficult or expensive, just time-consuming with the paperwork that is required.
According to The Organic Coup website, “The Coup believes in food that is raised within the Organic USDA standards. These standards do not allow Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), toxic chemicals and pesticides, or the use of antibiotics or added hormones in livestock. We believe in sustainability, not just for the quality of life today, but also for the future.”
The first Organic Coup opened in Pleasanton, CA, in November, 2015.