Garden Fresh Restaurant Corporation Growing in 2010

Garden Fresh Restaurant Corporation, parent company of Souplantation & Sweet Tomatoes, today opened its newest locations in Encinitas, California and Naples, Florida.  As the first new restaurants in the company’s 2010 growth strategy, each will offer guests the Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes signature 45-foot salad bar full of fresh, seasonal vegetables and tossed salads, made-from-scratch soups and hand-crafted muffins, focaccia, breads and desserts.

The Encinitas, California location is part of the company’s newest prototype.  The new design offers guests all their favorites while creating a more streamlined design and interior.  These changes will mean faster construction timelines and the ability to enter previously unavailable spaces, like shopping centers and strip malls, all without any change to the menu or quality of the food and service.

“The restaurant business is changing, and in order to grow and reach new markets restaurants must be strategic.  We have developed a strategy for 2010 and beyond that will enable Garden Fresh Restaurant Corporation to grow in new and existing markets and introduce new guests to our wholesome, healthy fare,” said Joan Scharff, executive director of marketing for Garden Fresh Restaurant Corporation

As part of the company’s growth plan for 2010, six new Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes locations will open across America.  These restaurants will be a mix of the traditional design and the new design.

Souplantation offers a rotating menu of more than 100 original, made fresh daily recipes featuring signature salads, soups, bakery goods and hot pasta sauces, at an all-you-care-to-eat price.  All food is prepared without the use of artificial flavors, colors, additives or artificial trans fats.  A different food theme is featured each month and the most popular menu items are rotated every two weeks.  Items are showcased on a 55-foot salad bar and prepared exhibition style every 20 minutes.

About Souplantation:

Celebrating over 30 years, Souplantation was founded in 1978 in San Diego and currently operates 114 salad buffet-style restaurants across the western, southern and eastern portions of the United States. Souplantation cares about what comes out of guests’ wallets and into their bodies by creating an exceptional, all-you-care-to-eat dining experience with a daily selection of made-from-scratch soups and salads and hand-crafted muffins, focaccia, breads and tasty desserts. By combining high-quality, farm-fresh and scratch-made foods for a fixed price, the restaurants provide guests with the freedom to create their own wholesome meals. The restaurant concept is built around fresh prepared, great-tasting recipes with a salad bar full of seasonal vegetables and tossed salads prepared exhibition-style every 20 minutes. Souplantation restaurants are open daily for lunch and dinner and also for a special Sunday Breakfast that features a variety of delicious morning favorites in addition to regular selections. For more information, visit

117 thoughts on “Garden Fresh Restaurant Corporation Growing in 2010”

  1. I lived in the Atlanta Ga area and loved sweet tomatoes. I currently live in downstate Illinois and the closest restaurant is in the Chicagoland area (3-4 hour drive), Are there any plans for downstate IL or perhaps St. Louis, MO. I would drive 1 1/2 hours for your food but Chicago is just to far!!

    1. Not anytime soon…. I’ll let construction know there is a demand for Sweet Tomatoes in downstate IL.

  2. Thanks a bunch for posting the recipe for the broccoli salad!!!

    I discovered at COSTCO in Bakersfield, CA and since we don’t have the restaurants close by it have become on of our dinner staples. My kids love them, but I was trouble keeping the broccoli fresh. Since I’m also a full time Colloge student, I can’t shop more than once a week, so by the time I would get to the third day the broccoli wasn’t quite fresh anymore. I would just use my own broccoli and the dressing, bacon and nuts from the package, so I thought maybe I could order the salad dressing and make it fresh myself. I never drempt I could actually make the whole thing!!!

    It is a life saviour for us, my kids eat raw brocoly everyday and love it. Now AI’m ready to try Mandarin Spinach w/ Caramelized Walnuts for them! please post more recipes I’ll try them all!


  3. any plans to build a sweet tomatoes in port Charlotte Florida??? we could sure use one around here! your food is outstanding! my husband and I went to one of your restaurants in orlando florida =) we loved it!!!

  4. Any plans yet to open a location south of Atlanta? We moved from Kennesaw to Sharpsburg, and there are no Sweet Tomotoes on the entire southside! We feel that the Peachtree City/Newnan area would be a great area to open one, as there is nothing like a ST here!! We have steakhouses, Mexican, Chinese, and barbeque places galore. The area is growing quickly and doing well…please come!! Thanks!

  5. I go to Sweet Tomatoes every time I visit a city where there is one. Any chance of one coming to Michigan?

  6. Tracy, when Sweet Tomatoes first entered the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, market space in 2007, the press reported that there was a plan to open five local Sweet Tomatoes restaurants. Three of those actually opened.

    Do you know the status of the remaining two stores? The two that are missing, if I recall, are the Southlake and Plano/Frisco locations.


    PS Put the tuna tarragon in Costco!

    1. We are planning to expand in Dallas in the future, no plans for 2010 or 2011 but it is on our interest list to build again in that area.

      Also, right now we are working on getting our Albondigas Soup in Costco, it is a huge guest favorite. I’ll put in the pipes the request for Tuna Tarragon. Thanks for the reply.

  7. How about Schererville, Indiana? We would really appreciate a quality restaurant such as Sweet Tomatoes!!!

  8. My daughter and her family live near Rockville, MD and when they come to Phoenix to visit us, they usually enjoy going to Sweet Tomatoes. Do you have any locations in the Washington, DC area or plan to have any in the near furure?

    1. No plans for the DC area yet, we are growing in areas that we are already located in. DC is a possibility but not at this time.

  9. I have been a regular customer of Sweet Tomatoes for a little over eight years. Whether it is taking family and friends out or having a business meeting, my first choice is always Sweet Tomatoes. I know I’ll be getting the freshest salad and the best in soups. I feel that anyone I take there will eat healthy.

    Keep up the great work,
    Nikolas Diamondidis

    1. We are opening our Sweet Tomatoes in Bradenton in late June of 2010. We are very excited to join the community!!

  10. Will a Sweet Tomatoes be opening in Maryland any time soon? Can a franchise be opened? We miss the restaurant since we left florida and think it would thrive well in the severna park area in MD….

  11. What are your plans for the New York market? Upstate in Albany, NY would be a great
    location for Sweet Tomatoes.

    1. We are coming to Port Richey, we should be there by the end of this year. More information will be on our website and blog as we get closer.

  12. Will one of your new six locations be in The Villages, FL??? If not, please come here….80,000 people love you.

  13. Will one of your new locations be in The Villages, FL???? If not, please come here….80,000 people love you.

  14. Any plans for east Orlando (32828). We are a HUGE suburban area that would LOVE a restaurant closer to us. The closest is the Colonial address which is not a good neighborhood and not safe after dark.

  15. I agree with Laura L about the Roanoke area or even around Blacksburg (VA Tech). Just stopped at the one in Cary NC both on the way down and back from the beach!

  16. I have not been to any of your locations but have heard great things about your menu etc. I saw in the comments that someone has a desire for you to come to Nashville, Tennessee. I am the Asst. General Manager of CoolSprings Galleria in Franklin, Tennessee, just south of Nashville. We have a high shopping center that has a great location for you. Please check us out We would love to have you as a tenant.

  17. I am the Asst. General Manager of CoolSprings Galleria in Franklin, Tennessee, just south of Nashville. We have a high shopping center that has a great location for you. Please check us out We would love to have you as a tenant.

  18. Come to Columbia, MO. I stop whenever I head to St. Louis and think you would do great in our college town. A family friendly place for a healthy lunch and dinner would go over really well here. I talk you up to everyone I know and we are mid location to St. Louis and KC where you have restaurants.

  19. I second the request for you to open a Sweet Tomatoes in Port Charlotte, FL!!! Everyone I know loves your restaurant and we have to travel over an hour to get to the closest one and they are always so crowded! We need our own!! 🙂

  20. BREAKFAST!!! Could you PLEASE put on a link on your Web site as to which locations serve breakfast.

    You keep mentioning it in your news releases and e-mail blasts, but NO WHERE ON THE SITE DOES IT MENTION which locations serve it.

    Very frustrating.


    1. Breakfast is served every Sunday at every location except Lake Buena Vista, FL; St. Charles, IL; Raleigh, NC; Cary, NC; and Tampa, FL. If you go to any other location on Sunday between 9 am – 12 you will see our breakfast offerings!!

  21. I’ve been a Soup Plantation regular for nearly 20 years, first in Southern California, then Sweet Tomatoes in Northern California and now in the Dallas area of Texas. Although my family is willing to make the occassional drive to your Dallas/Addison location (about 30 minutes), we would LOVE to see Sweet Tomatoes in the northern suburbs like Plano or Frisco. Lots of families, lots of sports teams and tons of health conscious folks transplanted from other states where SP/ST already reside. It’s the perfect market.

  22. Just thought I’d drop by and say how much I love Sweet Tomatoes. I was wondering if you had any plans for Kissimmee, or Melbourne, as those would be closer to where we live. I know locations in those spots would do really well. The ones in Orlando are in great, busy locations, but are hard to get to (traffic wise) if you’re not already there.

  23. I read in our local newspaper (Champion) that Souplantation had submitted plans to our city planners for a new one in Chino Hills, CA.. PLEASE tell me this is still in the works.

  24. Any plans to come to the Lakeland, FL area? I love Sweet Tomatoes, but don’t get to Tampa or Orlando very often to be able to enjoy the wonderful food.

  25. Any plans on expanding south? Particularly, the New Orleans metro are (Metairie, retail corridor). With restaurants packed in New Orleans nonstop, buffet-style/healthy would do exceptionally well.

  26. Would love to see you in Virginia, closest for me is NC and that is a 4 hour drive. There aren’t any salad specialty restaurants within a 100 miles of DC. With Michelle Obama pushing for healthier eats it would be nice to see you in the area.
    Been a fan for over 10 years, originally from New Mexico.

  27. I LOVE your restaurant! My family moved up to Brevard County from South Florida a few years ago, and I miss Sweet Tomatoes! Any plans for the Central Florida area on the East Coast? Cocoa Beach? How do we find out about franchise opportunities?

  28. Before you do down state Illinois- look at Quad Cities Illinois and Iowa. You’d want to locate in Iowa- the Mississippi River divides us but we have 400,000 people in the community, 37.4 million people within 300 miles. Great workforce ! Home of many major companies. Low taxes, high per capita income in relation to Low Cost of Living. We need eating places!! See our area website: Don’t be fooled by the UGLY PHOTO on the opening page—look around–especially @: Location Advantages, Regional Profile, Tax Structure, Quality of Life, Success Stories. Our Midwest Workforce & Work Ethics are the best. I have many employees working for us for over 20 years ( in our business). Wages and LOW Building Costs and Taxes is why many large companies have choosen to locate here (see the list). We seem almost recession proof. My own company a Ford Dealership (100 employees 50 years in business) has had three great years in spite of the “recession.” We are half way between Chicago Illinois and DesMoines Iowa. We have tons of outlying large farms and Meat Packing Plants that provide food all over the U.S. This is a beautiful metro area half in Illinois half in Iowa but we think of our selves as one since all cities have frontage on the river. Flooding is not a problem since most places are located in the new corridors above on top of the hills. More questions call me and I will get what you need (563) 391-4995 or contact Quad Cities First. I have to have you’re food more often—-YUMMMM ! You’ll make a fortune here !

  29. We wish Sweet Tomatoes would open in EVERY state around the country so that healthy food would be available instead of awful fast food!! We need more Sweet Tomatoes in every town and highway rest stop! Wherever we go, we say,’ we wish there was a Sweet Tomatoes here!!’ Thank you for your fabulous restaurant. MORE MORE!

  30. Please open a store in central Florida near The Villages or Lady Lake. We don’t go to Orlando that often, so would really patronize a Sweet Tomatoes up here. Please consider !!

  31. Please Come To Casa Grande in Arizona, with 8 Phoenix locations and 2 Tucson locations, we need one in the CG

  32. We need one in Wesley Chapel Florida. Tired of driving more than 25 miles for some good salad. Plus with gas prices rising it would help save some money to eat more often at sweet tomatoes….

  33. Hope you have Reno or Sparks (or even Carson City) Nevada on your planned openings list this year! You have a chance to corner the market on salad bar restaurants that currently doesn’t exist in a region with a population of about 500,000. Despite the misconceptions about Reno, this city contains a very high number of people who are health conscious and outdoor enthusiasts (two of the largest all-sports stores, Cabela’s and Scheels are located here, along with abundant options for outdoor recreation year-round). Many people with this type of lifestyle would gladly welcome your restaurant here, with its healthy and fresh dining options at an affordable price. Since you recently opened a third location in Las Vegas, any excuse to not open in northern Nevada (too many buffets, high unemployment, casino competition, wrong demographics, etc.) do not hold water because Las Vegas has even worse economic conditions and MUCH more casino competition than Reno, and you must have good enough business there to open up yet another location and thin out your existing customer base in southern Nevada.

    The nearest salad bar-type restaurant is 115 miles away (at least a 2 hour drive each way) from the Reno-Sparks metro area—much more distant then other comment posters who are concerned about having to merely drive 20 or 25 miles to their nearest Sweet Tomatoes or Souplantation. Please strongly consider Northern Nevada as your next market for Sweet Tomatoes or Souplantation–there are a number of vacant restaurant sites in good locations that could be easily converted to either your traditional or newer design format.

    1. Tracy, I have read some of the posts here and want you to know that I live in the DFW Metroplex, but grew up in Los Angeles and been a Souplantation “fan” since they opened.

      I live in the Rockwall area (Royse City, TX in Rockwall County), which is approx 30 mi EAST of DT Dallas, and a Sweet Tomatoes is NEEDED out this way! I know one just opened up in Dallas recently, but most people who live on “the other side of the lake” don’t like driving all the way to Dallas, so we need “you guys” to come to us!
      Just wondering if “you guys” have any idea of how fast this area has grown in the last 5 years and how successful a ST would benefit everyone——just “throwing” that out there!
      Did anyone from corporate “scout” out this way while opening up the new ST in Dallas? Just wondering if there are any future plans for a ST out this way? Thanks Tracy.

      1. Thanks for the input. We will share your feedback with our real estate department. Dallas is a city that we are planning to expand in within the next 5-10 years. We do hope to get to you soon!

  34. Heard that Sweet Tomatoes is considering a site in the area of Lady Lake/ The Villages. What a welcome sight this will be. With more than 70,000 people living here and in the surrounding areas who eat out regularly your plate will be full. Cannot wait to hear the formal announcement and the fact that we will be able to have one so close. To drive 40/50 miles to eat is just out of the question. Your potential here is great – just hurry up and get here.

  35. When are you going to open in South Carolina. Clemson is a good place to start being a college town and nearby Greenville. Greenville is also a wonderful place to open one. The closest one to us is in Georgia -Gwinnet. ?
    Please consider it soon……………

  36. By mistake I enclosed my e-mail in the comments , can you please delete it from the comment section.
    Thank you ,

  37. Please,please please open a location in Brevard County, FL. Melbourne, Cocoa Beach, Viera would ALL be great locations for it!!!!!!

  38. Please come to Canada! We ate at the I-Drive, Orlando Sweet Tomato some years ago and are still fans – we need more of these in North America to shift out the MacDonalds, Burger Kings and Pizza Huts from our towns. We have three children and can’t wait until you have a store in every city/town across North America!

  39. Please open a restaurant in Indianapolis! There is NO restaurant downtown that could complete with your set-up! It’s a gold mine waiting to be found!


  41. any plans to build a restaurant in the busiest , and fastest growing area in the ” TAMPA ” region ? please have your people check for themselves !

  42. Please come to the Nashville area, Williamson County specifically, lots of good locations in Brentwood/Cool Springs area, ton of office workers, trust me we’re you’re ideal customers and will flood your restaurant daily if you open one up here.

  43. I absolutely love your restaurants. I drive 160 miles from Monterey, CA to eat at your restaurant in San Jose, CA. I hope in the future that you will consider an expansion somewhere along the central coast. Keep up the good work and don’t grow too fast!

  44. Just curious, any idea if they will ever put one on state road 192 in Kissimmee, Florida? Would definitely be a popular spot with the tourist (and the many locals that live & work for the tourism industry). Thanks for your consideration!

  45. We’re still waiting for a Sweet Tomatoes in Spring Hill Florida. Our restaurants are full and the new ones are packed also. We need the Sweet Tomatoes Corp. to do us justice as the food is amazing. I travel to the Palm Harbor Fla. Sweet Tomatoes and am heading there today at 2pm, with a group. That 27 miles is too much to do and you won’t be disappointed in Spring Hill. Look us up…We are one of the fastest growing communities, even though we are large now. The newest mall location on Rt. 19 is waiting for a Sweet Tomatoes, with room for a new building if necessary. Property is cheap for our community and there is still space to build. We love you!

  46. Any plans to expand in Missouri for 2010-2011? St. Peters, MO has a population of approximately 57,000 residents always looking for new eating establishments to enjoy! We’re located in one of the fastest growing counties in the State and could definitely support your restaurant. I would love to share additional information with you about St. Peters. Please contact me if you’re interested! Thanks!

  47. We love your restaurant & we stop at one every chance we get. Do you have plans to open one in the Knoxville, TN area? This would be a great location. This is a college town & metro area restaurants are always busy. I-75 & I-40 merge for a few miles in the metro area & has a lot of Smokey Mountain tourist traveling on these 2 major N/S & E/W interstate highways. Also the Smokey Mountain area Is one of the most popular tourist locations in the world. There are a lot of people here that love your kind of food & we would love to have you in this area.

  48. I stopped by the Souplantation location in the Indio, CA area and was blown away by the selection, cleanliness and pleasant nature of the employees. Are there any plans for a location in the Turlock, CA or surrounding areas?
    Keep up the great work and thanks for providing a healthy and yummy alternative for my picky little eaters!


    1. We are opening a location in Port Richey, but are tentatively scheduling the opening for late November or December.

  49. With all the Microsoft, Google and other other high tech transplants in Redmond, WA, it dumbfounds me why there isn’t one up here! That’s a lot of California transplants and this is a great place to open a franchise! Plus, we like to eat healthy in Seattle. Makes for a great business decision in my book!

  50. Any chance we will EVER see a Sweet Tomatoes in the NorthEast??
    I can’t imagine this happening, but thought I would give it a shot??

  51. are you going to open a Sweet Tomatoes in the Surprise Az area we go to the one in Peoria Az and it is always so busy

  52. Any plans to open more Sweet Tomatoes in NC? Please consider the WInston Salem area or if not Winston Salem, how about Charlotte? Better yet open one in both, we live about half way between the two. Every time we visit out son in Raleigh we go to the Cary location, and have been going to the Palm Harbor Fla location for years when ever we are down there which is at least once a year. We sure would like to have one closer to where we live!!!

  53. Just wondering if Melbourne, Florida (or even East Orlando) will ever get a Sweet Tomatoes? It’s impossible to drive to the tourist area Orlando locations very often, and there are certainly enough families in and around the south Brevard area to keep you busy!

  54. I have heard several times in the past year or so that Sweet Tomatoe is planning on opening
    on hwy 98N. My friends and I eat at the one in Brandon , Fl when shopping over there. Folks
    in the Lakeland area would love to have a resturant here.

  55. I just experienced Sweet Tomatoes for the first time while on a vacation in Northern California. It was outstanding and I was so excited to come back to Charlotte, NC because I thought we had a franchise here on Harris Blvd. No such luck! Honestly, I did not know what kind of restaurant Sweet Tomatoes is so I never tried it before (I am a vegetarian). I hope you bring back a restaurant to the Charlotte-Lake Norman area and maybe try advertising what makes your restaurant unique because it really is. And it’s a great deal.

    1. Thanks Christine. We are glad to hear you enjoy our concept. We do not have plans to expand to Charlotte. We will put it in our potential locations. In the meantime, next time you are on vaca, look for our restaurants. We are Souplantation in Southern California and Sweet Tomatoes everywhere else.

  56. I agree with the request/plea for an Austin location. Please! This is such a health conscious city, I’m sure the concept would go well here. We eat at the Irving location when visiting family but it’s 4’hours away! South Austin has LOTS of growth & young families. Come check us out!!!!

  57. I wanted to put money to open one in Manhattan, so much business, so much consciousness and so big crowd. What is wrong? (supplying fresh from CA?)
    Tracy, can I call to the planning, investing department? Awaiting an email.


  58. We heard that you were planning on opening a Sweet Tomatoes in our area (Hudson, FL) Any truth to that! We love your restaurant!

  59. I like the theme of this web pages. I came upon this web page on Did you employ a blog theme creator to make this design for you?

  60. Are you coming to Lakeland, Florida and will you be on 98N. You certainnly would have a
    great business in this area.


  61. Any news on the DC area for Souplantation? Or in Virginia near Quantico would be best 🙂
    Franchise opportunities available yet?

    1. No plans for overseas yet!! We are still expanding in the U.S. right now. Maybe your friends can visit us when they come to visit you! We hope so!

  62. Hello, I was just down in Florida and a friend and I ate at your restaurant and it was the best place I have ever eaten. I am from Connecticut and there is a huge base up here that would love this kind of dining establishment. Are there any plans to come up north here? Do you guys franchise? I would love to help get one up here, thanks!

    1. Hi Sally – we don’t currently have expansion plans but thanks for liking us enough to want one in your area!

  63. I used to live in Tampa and became a fan of Sweet Tomatoes. I recently relocated to North Virginia and miss Sweet Tomatoes so much. Do you have any plans for expanding into the Northern Virginia area? Sweet Tomatoes would be a huge success here.

    1. Hi Maria – We don’t currently have any expansion plans but thank you for liking us enough to want one in your area.

  64. Still waiting for a Sweet Tomatoes in Spring Hill Florida. We have full restaurants at our Applebee’s, Red Lobster, Cracker Barrel, Outback, and an additional new Golden Corral being built, ALL on Rt. 19 in Spring Hill Florida. They all can’t be wrong about the tremendous restaurant business here. We’re waiting for you Sweet Tomatoes!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *