Nation’s first USDA-certified organic fast-food restaurant opens in Pleasanton

FILE PHOTO Cage-free chickens walk in a fenced pasture on the Francis Blake organic farm, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, near Waukon, Iowa. Blake gathers an average of 2,500 dozen eggs a week from his flock of 5,000 cage-free hens. An increasing customer demand for more eggs from chickens free from cages has left U.S. egg farmers with the question of whether to spend millions of dollars to convert or build cage-free barns. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

PLEASANTON (BCN) — A restaurant that says it is the nation’s first U.S. Department of Agriculture-certified organic fast food restaurant has opened in Pleasanton, serving only organic options from California.

The Organic Coup’s owners said they created the restaurant to bolster the organic food movement and change the way people think about food.

The restaurant, located at 4825 Hopyard Road in Pleasanton, opened earlier this month and has a small menu of crispy chicken and vegetables in sandwich, wrap or bowl form. Customers can also purchase a side of caramel-covered popcorn and organic sodas or other drinks.

The company said they used the word “coup” instead of “coop” because the restaurant was founded to spark a food revolution in which consumers help transform the conventional food system.

“The inspiration for The Organic Coup came from the lack of convenient clean food available. We were frustrated with the fact that there just weren’t any quick options at lunch or on busy weekends,” Erica Welton, the restaurant’s founder, said in a statement.

“When we started down this path, we knew we wanted to serve only organic and were shocked to learn how few restaurants were actually USDA certified. We were even more shocked to learn that there wasn’t a single USDA organic certified in the fast food restaurant category,” Welton said.

She said the organic certification “says the food is free of GMOs (genetically modified organisms), toxic chemicals and pesticides, and livestock is raised without the use of antibiotics and added hormones.”

Welton said, “Organic supports family farms and tends to be more local. Organic farming practices also support regenerative agriculture, which has a positive effect on our planet.”

The restaurant company’s main office is in Walnut Creek and it said its goal is to open several more restaurants in the next year.

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