It's called The Organic Coup and that's exactly what they're after: totally revolutionizing the business model for fast-food around the country and someday, perhaps, the world.
After launching several successful locations in the San Francisco area, The Organic Coup is opening in Washington. It's first site in Bellevue fed customers Tuesday, and its downtown Seattle kitchen will open in the Columbia Tower next month. They're also planning a food truck for the Microsoft campus.
"None of our food has synthetic chemicals, pesticides, no GMOs, no antibiotics. Our slaw is all fresh. It's coming from farms in the Pacific Northwest," co-founder Erica Welton said.
Welton started the restaurant after years working as a food buyer for Costco, partnering up with one of her old Costco co-workers after noticing a trend in customer conscience.
"Everybody started buying organic. Everybody started looking at labels. They started recognizing what they were eating. Folks didn't want GMOs. They didn't want chemicals in their food. They didn't want MSG," Dennis Hoover said.
Dennis Hoover had planned to retire, not start an entirely new career. This, however, is less a career and more a worldview.
Unlike most other fast-food chains that clean chicken using a chlorine bath, the chicken at this restaurant is sanitized using an air-chilling method. The soda machine is all organic using cane sugar instead of GMO high-fructose corn syrup.
They flash-fry with coconut oil.
"It's better for farmers. It's better for soil, the environment. It really is all-encompassing. It's more than just putting it in your body whether you're an environmentalist or you're concerned about your children. It helps with the water and air. If you're running a farm and you're spraying chemicals, all of that is leeching into water," Welton said.
Eventually, Hoover says, he predicts an even more aggressive revolution, with pasture-raised meats and farming methods that positively affect climate change.
"People should feel good about what they eat," Welton said. "I think when people take a minute to look at what's in their fast food, I think they would be shocked to see the corners that are being cut, the low-quality ingredients, the food dyes that are going into products they have no idea about, and they might be a little upset."