While attending a wedding this past weekend in Santa Rosa, California, I did a double take when I drove by a drive-thru restaurant with grass growing from the roof and a water tower in the lawn. I quickly recognized the Amy’s logo – not because of my familiarity with the restaurant, but from the numerous Amy’s products (from soups to frozen pizza) I’ve consumed over the years. Known for their organic and gluten-free options, Amy’s Kitchen products are sold at most major grocery stores from Walmart to Fresh Thyme.
What I didn’t know was that in July of 2015, the brand opened their first drive-thru restaurant less than 15 miles from their headquarters in Petaluma, CA. Other than soda, everything on their menu is organic (with plenty of vegan and gluten-free options). But beyond their menu, the brand celebrates their roots in every touchpoint of the experience – from solar panels, to the living roof, to the tower collecting rainwater to help sustain the landscaping, the fast food prototype seems to be a perfect extension of the wholesome brand.
With today’s consumer more focused on overall wellness and transparency versus low calorie and low carb, a true drive-thru prototype built on a strong brand story and healthier options has the potential to gain popularity. So if you are ever in Sonoma, make time to check it out (…eating organic will make you feel better about the wine tasting that will be sure to follow)!