In August 2014 Michelle Walrath and Fran Paniccia were with their kids, driving home from a Taylor Swift concert in Boston. Frustrated with the unhealthy road-trip food options, they asked each other how could no one be putting out good food? Then the thought came to them: Maybe we should do it ourselves. Eight months later, ORGANIC KRUSH was born. “We were sort of joking about building a restaurant near us,” they said of the totally organic, fast-casual lifestyle eatery. But what they found as their kids got older and everyone’s lives got busier, was that it was really difficult to find high-quality food when eating out.
“The world is getting sicker, not healthier, over the years. We learned what was happening in the food industry with GMOs, toxins, pesticides and animal cruelty. Once you know that, you can’t unknow it,” said Michelle. “You look at chronic health issues and our food quality and you connect the dots. When you’re a mother, you’re in charge of the health of yourself and your kids. If you can put clean food in their bodies, that adds up to them feeling a lot better and living a lot healthier.”
Organic Krush’s menu was purposefully designed to accommodate all tastes and dietary restrictions. Fran, the self-proclaimed “official taste tester,” loves to create her custom Krush Bowl with grilled chicken or shrimp, roasted carrots, celery, feta and figs. Michelle loves the Mexican coffee smoothie and also loves making different custom bowls with the organic salmon. It serves everything from family-style meals to gluten-free baked goods to cold-pressed juices.
To add to all they are contributing to their community, Organic Krush has a hefty philanthropic arm, working with Filling in the Blanks to help kids who are food insecure, as well as Pink Aid, a nonprofit dedicated to getting funds into women’s hands who are going through cancer to ensure they have enough money to get a taxi ride to and from chemo, or a babysitter, or even to help pay for wigs.
Organic Krush has ten open locations, including a storefront in Westport, with a healthy growth trajectory. They plan to have thirty storefront opens in the next few years.