September 10, 2018 by Doreen Garelick, Dietetic Intern
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February 11, 2016
NEW YORK, NY, February 11, 2016 — SPE Certified is pleased to announce that health-conscious, chef-inspired restaurant concept, fresh&co has achieved two-star SPE Certification in recognition of its nutritious and environmentally sustainable operation and menu.
SPE Certified is a third-party certification program that evaluates a restaurant’s operation and menu against science-based nutrition and sustainability criteria, and scores the operation on a scale of 1 to 3 stars. An SPE Certified culinary nutritionist compiled fresh&co’s responses to over 150 questions about its menu offering, preparation techniques, product sourcing, communication practices, and general environmental stewardship initiatives.
Certification is the culmination of a process that included nutrition analysis and recipe reformulation, and articulated fresh&co’s nutrition and sustainability objectives. "We are proud to be SPE-certified, as they are leaders in the industry and truly align with our brand and our customers,” says Alex Perez, fresh&co’s COO. “As a growing brand with the future before us, SPE is helping to guide us with what we serve to our consumers, reminding us constantly that the quality of our products is important."
SPE certification recognizes fresh&co’s impressive commitments to both health and environmental sustainability. The NYC-based fast-casual chain features a largely plant-based menu that makes it easy for customers to find nutrient-dense vegetables, legumes and whole grains at breakfast, lunch or dinner. The culinary team keeps things minimally-processed with house-made soups, dressings and desserts, and also avoids flame-grilling. fresh&co offers snacks and beverages from third-parties, but carefully curates them to avoid overly-processed items or high-amounts of added sugar. Signature menu items are formulated with environmentally-friendly portions of animal proteins, and the brand has taken steps to reduce the saturated fat in many items.
Beyond its health-focused recipes, fresh&co also earned the two-star rating for its sustainable purchasing program. Whenever possible, fresh&co sources from local farms and regularly features seasonal menu items. The culinary team sources hormone-free dairy, cage-free eggs, antibiotic-free poultry and are in the process of switching to antibiotic-free beef.
Launched in May 2012, SPE, which stands for Sanitas Per Escam in Latin (or “Health Through Food”), aims to provide a universal, trusted standard for healthy and sustainable dining outside of the home. SPE’s seal of approval helps restaurants communicate commitments to sustainability and personal health to their customers and the public. “It’s a pleasure to work with companies like fresh&co, whose farm-to-desk philosophy and focus on better-for-you meals are well-aligned with SPE’s Health Through Food philosophy,” says Andrea Canada, VP of Culinary Nutrition and Sustainability at SPE. “Their success is proof of the increasing demand of consumers for fast meal options that are both healthy and environmentally sustainable and we look forward to their continued growth.”
Founded in 2010 by NYC-based ST Management, fresh&co is a destination for chef-inspired, organic, seasonal food that is both nutritious and delicious. With multiple locations throughout Manhattan, fresh&co prides itself on offering an array of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free menu options that are packed with flavor. From signature chopped salads and homemade soups, to sandwiches, market fresh bowls and cold-pressed juices, fresh&co is the go-to spot for hungry New Yorkers who want a healthy meal—fast. fresh&co sources the majority of its ingredients from local farms in the Hudson Valley and Long Island, creating a unique from-farm-to-desk connection. To further its commitment to using fresh, local ingredients whenever possible, fresh&co has taken the Pride of New York Pledge from Governor Cuomo and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. With an eye on protecting the environment, all fresh&co locations are built with eco-friendly best practices, and all food packaging is made from plant-based, compostable material.
About SPE Certified:
SPE Certified is a unique, third-party certification, which recognizes a foodservice establishment's commitment to nutrition, sustainability and importantly, its customers' well-being. SPE stands for Sanitas Per Escam (Latin for “Health Through Food”), and its mission is to provide a universal, trusted standard for healthy and delicious dining outside of the home. SPE Certified’s guidelines combine cutting-edge research with international health standards, validated and updated continuously by world-renowned nutrition experts. Buildings have LEED; household products have the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval; food has SPE Certified.
For press inquiries, including photo and recipe requests, and interviews with SPE's Executive Team and Scientific Committee, please contact:
VP, Culinary Nutrition & Sustainability
New York, NY 10011