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Founder of healthy franchise Crisp & Green shares secret to explosive growth

Steele Smiley, who started the chain in Minneapolis in 2016, talks about how it’s filled the pipeline with 250 locations.


Crisp & Green is one of the hottest restaurant franchises today. The fast casual, which serves healthy salads, bowls and smoothies, has expanded to about 30 locations, with roughly 250 more in the pipeline. That includes a recent 40-unit development deal with franchise partner Rory Kelly of Salads & Smoothies, LLC — the largest franchise deal for Crisp & Green so far.

Steele Smiley, who founded Crisp & Green in 2016 and today serves as executive chairman, says the company first focused on building a great leadership team internally before it pursued its explosive growth strategy. Smiley joined the latest episode of Take-Away with Sam Oches to talk about Crisp & Green’s fast growth pace and how the company manages to sustain that growth without getting out over its skis.

In this conversation you’ll find out why:

  • If you want to grow quickly, start by building an all-star leadership team
  • Founders must be good stewards of their brands
  • Now is an extremely hard time to build a brand from scratch
  • People are not going to stop eating healthy
  • If you are in the early stages of building a brand, find an expert to partner with

Contact Sam Oches at [email protected].

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