Changing perspectives at Grabbagreen in Killeen | Grabbagreen
Lisa Kelly is an Army veteran who served a decade as a registered nurse and earned her master’s degree in nursing after leaving the Army in 2010.
Then not long after the birth of her daughter in 2012, Kelly opened Live and Let Liv Yoga studio in Killeen. Now, she has sprouted another health-conscious business — grabbagreen restaurant, located at 2802 W. Stan Schlueter Loop. It is the first, and only 100 percent gluten-free restaurant in the area, she said.
“The people of Killeen and Central Texas deserve options for healthier, affordable foods, so they don’t have to drive to Austin or elsewhere to buy it,” Kelly said. “It’s not that people here didn’t want to eat this way, but that they didn’t have the option to do it, so we created that option for them.”
The menu features endless combinations of grains, proteins and mostly organic vegetables and fruits made as meals, salads and breakfast wraps. A few of the choices include brown rice, quinoa and acai, kale and spinach. The smoothies, juices and elixirs are fresh-pressed and bottled daily in the store with ingredients like beets, apples and mangos among others. People can grab a bottle or have one made to order.
It is not strictly vegan or vegetarian foods, since the restaurant serves beef, shrimp, salmon and chicken, steamed cooked, not fried and no GMOs.
“We are changing peoples’ perception of healthy food,” Kelly added, “it can be flavorful, delicious and everything can be custom made to your tastes.”
A children’s menu is also available featuring macaroni and cheese and other items, and an online app lets customers order so the food is ready for pickup.
A California native, Kelly wanted to give back to the community she loves saying Killeen was the little engine that could. Grabbagreen restaurant opened Sept. 30 after Kelly and her husband researched companies for franchise opportunities finding this new company in Arizona, which started in 2013.
She invested $100,000 in startup costs, including new kitchen equipment, three walk-in refrigerators, a freezer and tables and chairs in the 1,600-square-foot store. A staff of 15 trained and learned how to do every job.
“Our restaurant isn’t like getting a job in another place where you know how the food should taste, so everyone had to learn from scratch,” Kelly stated. “This food is new to Killeen and to our staff but they’ve done a great job.”
So far, there are 12 franchises nationwide, but Killeen was the first grabbagreen in Texas.
“My favorite thing to do is watch someone’s reaction and the surprise at how good healthy food can taste,” Kelly said.
Making customers happy is just as important as making them healthy, and if a customer doesn’t like an item, the staff will make them something else.
“That doesn’t mean the food isn’t delicious, it just wasn’t delicious to you,” Kelly said.
One of Kelly’s favorite stories was of a reluctant customer that insisted he didn’t eat that type of food.
“But after his first meal, he said that he would return the next day to eat the same dish,” said Kelly smiling.
Another option is the detox program consisting of drinking six juices and two elixirs a day that Kelly says is like a reset for the body. “It clears everything out and refills it with plenty of fruits and vegetables to allow your body to re-receive nutrients.”
For customers that want to grab, or dine in, a casual, yet thoughtfully made meal, snack or juice, grabbagreen is the perfect restaurant. The environment is laid-back, welcoming with bright green walls and the food is fresh and nourishing made by a staff that cares about their customers well-being. “People are realizing that healthy food can taste great,” Kelly said. “I love that we can influence our customers about eating right and making good food choices.”
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Founded in 2013, Grabbagreen is a fast food food + juice restaurant where great tasting, healthy food meet the speed and convenience of traditional fast food. Grabbagreen’s food and juice menu is preservative-free, naturally gluten-free and GMO free. The whole food menu is based on super food ingredients and offers a full selection of grain and green-based bowls with fresh hormone-free and antibiotic-free proteins provided by local farms, fresh-pressed juice, handcrafted smoothies and acai bowls, breakfast and healthy kid-friendly items. All signature menu items are prepared fresh, made-to-order and provide a delicious experience for customers and a variety of flavors to meet dietary needs. Grabbagreen currently has three company-owned locations in Arizona. The Grabbagreen App is available on both iTunes and Google play. Visit grabbagreen.com for the latest company news and location information. You can also find Grabbagreen on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.