fresh toronto

Fresh Restaurants sold to the owner of Swiss Chalet and The Keg

One of the best vegetarian restaurants in Toronto — with ten locations across the GTA — just got bought out by the same corporate food giant that owns a long list of nationwide chains, including Swiss Chalet, Harvey's, and The Keg.

Recipe Unlimited, formerly Cara Operations, announced the news that the brand best known for its meaty offerings has purchased Fresh Restaurants for an unknown sum.

The deal saw Recipe acquire a full 100 per cent stake in Plant Powered Ventures Ltd., the company that built the original five Fresh locations, along with their remaining 15 per cent minority interest in Fresh to take full ownership of the franchise.

A quote in the announcement hints that Fresh Restaurants will soon expand its footprint well beyond the GTA.

"We're so thrilled that a Canadian company as respected in the industry as Recipe would choose to focus on the vegan space, and we're honoured that we are the brand they have chosen to partner with. We cannot wait to bring Fresh and our Plant Powered vision to communities across the country," says Ruth Tal, founder and owner of Fresh Restaurants.

While Fresh has remained a limited-scale operation since its founding in 1999, Recipe is better known for its restaurant brands that include St-Hubert, Montana's, Kelseys, East Side Mario's, New York Fries, and The Pickle Barrel.

Recipe has also recently taken on smaller more boutique franchises like Toronto's Beaches-original, The Burger's Priest.

Though unique among their more carnivore-friendly restaurants, Fresh will just be another brand in Recipe’s extensive portfolio.

One wonders how people who rely on their local Fresh for vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options will respond to news that the restaurants are now owned by owned of the country's top meat buyers.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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