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Flower Child exterior
<p>Three-unit fast-casual chain Flower Child offers a seasonal menu with emphasis on<br /> gluten-free, organic and hormone-free ingredients.</p>

Breakout Brands 2016: Flower Child

NRN presents the Breakout Brands of 2016: 10 cutting edge restaurant concepts poised to influence the industry in a big way. Follow #NRNChats on Twitter beginning at 3 p.m. EST Feb. 25 for a chat with Breakout Brand leaders. Share your thoughts on this year&#39;s picks using #NRNBrands &gt;&gt;

Flower Child, once a symbol of the 1960s counterculture movement, is striding boldly into the mainstream as a Phoenix, Ariz.-based fast-casual healthful restaurant.

Owned by Fox Restaurant Concepts, Flower Child opened its third Phoenix location in December and founder and CEO Sam Fox expects to open three more this year.

“We wanted to build a really nice base so we could build the brand and keep the management teams close,” Fox said.

The first location opened in April 2014.

Fox, who created True Food Kitchen and North Italia among other restaurant concepts, has worked in fast casual before. In January 2015, Fox Restaurant Concepts sold the nine-unit fast-casual Sauce Pizza & Wine.

“Flower Child is really a full-service restaurant disguised as a fast-casual restaurant,” Fox said. “Our commitment in the kitchen is very high, we’re making all the soups in-house and breaking down all the proteins in the kitchen.”

To-go business has been “incredible,” Fox said, with takeout representing about 35 percent or more of sales.

Flower Child’s check average is between $12.75 and $13.50, depending on the location, Fox said. Best-selling items are the Flying Avocado, a chicken and avocado-hummus wrap, and a grain bowl with seasonal vegetables and kale. The menu change three to four times a year and emphasizes gluten-free or low-gluten items, organic produce and hormone-free proteins.

New locations are planned to open this year in Santa Monica, Calif.; Del Mar, Calif.; and Austin, Texas.

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