Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Back to the earth

As restaurants begin to report a slight uptick in visits, it's awful to hear of ones that didn't make it through the tough economic times. I'm sad to report that Organic To Go, the first fast-casual restaurant chain to be certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has shuttered most of its West Coast stores to focus on its wholesale and catering business.

Founded in 2004 and based in Seattle, Organic To Go operated 33 cafes in Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego and Washington, D.C., and the company supplied wholesale organic fare to more than 170 locations, including 15 universities and nine outlets at Los Angeles International Airport.

In March, however, Organic To Go — a public company since 2007 — also announced that it was terminating the registration of common stock with the Securities and Exchange Commission to eliminate the expense of reporting as a public company, according to the Seattle Times.

One of the complaints we heard at the health-care reform forum we attended last night was that too many restaurants rely on corn syrup and other flavor enhancers that add calories without nutrition, adding to the cost of health care for everyone. It's disappointing when restaurants that focus on providing good food can't make a go of it.

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