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How Oprah Winfrey Is Getting Into the Restaurant Game

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Oprah Winfrey's penchant for vegetables, by now, is no secret. The TV personality, philanthropist, actress, and businessperson is well adept in the garden—just take a peek at her Instagram.

It seems Winfrey is just as into eating plants as she is growing them. This week, news emerged that the mogul was investing in True Foods Kitchen, a health food restaurant chain based out of Phoenix, Arizona. Go ahead and add this venture to a list of her other food-related forays, which include an investment in Weight Watchers and an eponymous line of health-conscious prepared dinners and sides.

Very few of you are probably wondering: Who is Oprah? Yet many of you might be asking: What is True Food Kitchen? Fair. I searched the web for some answers; here’s what I found:

  • The first True Food Kitchen was opened in Phoenix, Arizona in 2008 by Andrew Weil, a doctor of integrated medicine, and restaurateur Sam Fox. Since, they’ve expanded to 23 locations in ten states. Most are in Texas and California.
  • The schtick: The restaurant’s menu centers around a theme of anti-inflammation. Weil’s approach is scientific and professes a gospel of integrated medicine—True Food Kitchen is but one spoke in the wheel of his other business ventures, which include cookbooks, vitamins, and meditation CDs.
  • As for the grub, True Food’s menu is broad, intended to cater to a wide array of palates. A quick glance at the menu on the restaurant’s website reveals a mix of influences and ingredients: tahini, persian cucumbers, harissa, miso, and dashi are all out to play. There’s also a fair share of punchy plant-based proteins like tempeh and tofu.

So what does Oprah’s investment mean for the future of True Food Kitchen? Good question. Since 2016, when Christine Baron, a former Starbucks executive, became the company’s CEO, the restaurants have expanded dramatically, opening spots in a bunch of new cities. With Oprah’s help, it’s safe to say they’ll be able to continue this quest. The company expressed plans to double their number of locations in the following three years.

Loads o' Veggies

“When I first dined at True Food Kitchen, I was so impressed with the team's passion for healthy eating and, of course, the delicious food, that I knew I wanted to be part of the company's future," Winfrey said in a release. And because she's, well, Oprah, she made that happen.

Whether or not she'll be supplying the kitchen with some of her famous produce remains to be seen.

Have you ever been to True Food Kitchen? If so, let us know in the comments below.

Tags: Wellness