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That’s a wrap: Salata opens first of 12 in Oklahoma
OKLAHOMA CITY – Salata Marketing Manager Esther Cortez said she knows Oklahomans are fans of steak and fried foods.
She said the market is similar to Houston, where Salata has its headquarters. But with Oklahoma’s population influx, she said there’s a place for the salad and wrap concept.
“With an exploding population and everyone is looking to eat healthier, we felt like it would make sense to come to Oklahoma,” she said.
Salata will open its first Oklahoma store Thursday at 12200 N. MacArthur Blvd. The restaurant is in the Oak Grove Shopping Center. Sprouts Farmers Market anchors the center, with other lifestyle tenants going in as well. An Orangetheory fitness studio is next door to Salata.
The Oak Grove store is the first of six to open in Oklahoma this year, with 12 planned for the state. Cortez said those 12 stores will be opened over the next five years.
Founded in 2005, Salata offers customers 50 ingredients for their salads or wraps, with chicken, seafood, and vegan protein options. The dressings, soups, and sauces are made in-house.
A Salata store occupies less than 2,000 square feet when it’s downtown, and 2,500-4,000 square feet in the suburbs. Two stores will open in the Oklahoma City limits and one in Edmond. Three stores are planned for Tulsa, including one at First Place Tower downtown. The other Tulsa shops will be in the KingsPointe shopping center and on Cherry Street.
Cortez said the downtown Tulsa site is a test before getting other central-business-district locations.
“We’re not looking at downtown Oklahoma City,” she said. “We’re focusing on suburban areas where we have a good mix of a great lunch crowd and a good dinner.”
She said the company likes retail sites with good traffic near upper-income areas. She said end-cap spots in prominent centers are ideal.
The Oklahoma stores are franchises, with franchisee Bryan Jones moving from Florida to Oklahoma to oversee the operations. He was previously the franchise operations director for Cici’s Pizza and owned five Cici’s stores.
He said he likes that he’ll be able to offer guests healthy food.
“I feel good about what I’m serving to my guests,” he said. “It’s a very simple concept. It’s probably the simplest restaurant concept I’ve worked in, not only operational but also what guests can choose from.”