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The four-unit chain opened its flagship store in the NoMad neighborhood of New York City on January 17.

How two Italians created Avocaderia, one of New York’s hottest salad spots

Avocaderia is the new growing concept from Alessandro Biggi and Francesco Brachetti

Designed to take some of the kinetic energy out of New York City, fast-casual restaurant Avocaderia is a Mediterranean concept created by two Italians that is meant to help people slow down.

The four-unit chain opened its flagship store in the NoMad neighborhood of New York City on January 17. That location joins its two Manhattan units — in Midtown East and Chelsea — and its original in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. The team is setting its sights on two more locations this year, according to a release.

Alessandro Biggi and Francesco Brachetti founded the concept in 2017 with the idea of combining healthy fats and fresh greens into every dish. The avocado — a signature item on the menu — isn’t native to the men’s home country but became a favorite once they immigrated to the States.

Biggi moved to Seattle in 2016, and that’s when the idea for Avocaderia began, as he set out on a quest for healthy food that left him full but not overstuffed.

“So you wouldn’t have a snack right after, and that would defeat the purpose of eating healthy,” Biggi told Nation’s Restaurant News.

While the avocado may not be native to Italy, many of the food philosophies from Biggi’s home country are present in the food.

“In Italy, we grew up with access to healthy, nourishing food that is really tasty and filling because there’s a focus on the quality and the freshness of the ingredients,” he continued.

The name Avocaderia came from the healthy, but comfortable, avocado itself. Something that fits the ethos of the brand: healthy food that’s easy to understand and still comforting. The name is also a play on the word pizzeria, according to Biggi.

The seasonings at Avocaderia are very light, to let the freshly sourced ingredients shine to their full potential. The flavor comes from the dressings, which are all vegan and sugar-free.

Seventy to 80% of the menu is avocados. It’s used as a topping on a bowl or salad or as an ingredient in a smoothie. The Portobello Road, one of the chain’s most popular salads, is finished with avocado. It has kale, brown rice, chicken, portobello mushrooms, hummus, chipotle mayo, and cashew parmesan.

“We’re looking at the type of healthy fats that balance with health,” Biggi said.

While healthy food may not have spread across the country, it’s become popularized on the coasts, and Biggi has a lot of competition in New York City.

Like its competitors, Avocaderia’s main clientele is young professionals who are accustomed to eating food out of bowls.

A salad and a drink run consumers about $20, which is on par with other bowl concepts in major metropolitan cities.

It’s the customers who have discovered the brand and fallen in love with it that bring Biggi joy. That, and New York City.

“It's a really receptive place, people are always open to trying new things, and then they fall in love with the brand,” he said.

The plan is to grow to eight to 10 stores in New York City before moving to another city for growth through corporate stores. Cities Biggi is thinking about include Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C.

But as the saying goes, “If you can make it there [New York City], you can make it anywhere.”

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