Garden Fresh president Qualls to retire at year-end

SAN DIEGO David Qualls, president and chief financial officer of Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp., based here, has announced plans to retire at the end of the year after 22 years with the company.

Ken Keane, formerly vice president of marketing, and Greg Keller, formerly senior vice president of operations, will step in as co-presidents for Garden Fresh, which is parent of the 100-unit Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes salad-buffet chain. The restaurants are called Souplantation in California and Sweet Tomatoes elsewhere.

Garden Fresh plans to grow the chain this year and in 2008 with the opening of eight to 10 Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes units each year in existing markets, including Chicago and greater Los Angeles, as well as in the new market of Dallas later this year.