Please send plant-based news to Modern Restaurant Management (MRM) magazine’s Barbara Castiglia at bcastiglia@modernrestaurantmanagement.com.

Copper Branch Expands NYC Footprint

Copper Branch, top photo, opened its second U.S. location and its first in New York in the Greenwich Village/SOHO section of Lower Manhattan at 195 Bleecker Street.

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The company operates over 65 locations around the world, including Canada and Western Europe and has rapid expansion plans. They are planning to have over 200 locations by the end of 2020, and expansion within the United States is at the core of these plans.

Rio Infantino, CEO of Copper Branch and a veteran franchise owner, stated, “Entering the New York market has been a high priority for us as we feel that the city is as dynamic and forward thinking as we are at Copper Branch. It was a natural for us to make the city one of our first U.S. locations and we can’t wait for New Yorkers to experience our delicious and healthy menu items, all of which are plant-based.”

As with all Copper Branch stores, the Bleecker Street location will cater to on-the-go New Yorkers by featuring an all-day breakfast and an all-encompassing menu that includes power bowls, burgers and sandwiches, soups and chili, and power smoothies. The entire menu is whole food plant-based, with many non-GMO, organic, specialty and naturally gluten-free foods.

Black Bean Burger

All of Copper Branch’s locations are franchisee-owned and, in addition to further expansion within the Tri-State area, the chain is planning on expanding into California, Texas, Massachusetts, Maine, Arizona and several other states across the country. The company is also planning to propel their expansion plans by solidifying agreements with area developers who will purchase the rights to develop and own specific territories across America and in turn will sell portions of this territory to new sub-franchisees.

Although the entire Copper Branch menu is vegan, the company has found that the vast majority of its customers are not strict vegans, but rather omnivores and flexitarians who want to replicate the delicious foods they currently enjoy but in a healthier, more ethical way. “This is food I’m proud to have my children eat!” added Infantino.

As the world is well aware, the fires raging through the Amazon Rainforest are an international environmental tragedy. The world’s largest quick service plant-based restaurant chain, Copper Branch, is doing its part and is urging companies in North America and around the world to follow its lead, by their Rainforest Trust donation program.

Through its My Copper Branch Rewards, every time a customer uses their loyalty card, a donation is made by the company to the Rainforest Trust, a global organization protecting our planet’s most endangered wildlife forests and animals. The campaign was started in September of 2018 and, since that time, over 5,200 acres of rainforest land has been saved through Copper Branch’s customers’ use of their loyalty cards.

Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research has recently reported that more than 72,000 fires have occurred in Brazil since the start of 2019 with over half of those being in the Amazon rainforest region, known as “The Earth’s Lungs”. This has led to an 83% increase in deforestation as compared to 2018. They reported the staggering statistic that 1.5 soccer fields are burning every minute in the country. The impact has been widespread to the health of planet and its inhabitants living in these rainforest lands. Even large cities like Sao Paulo have been affected as the city has been plunged into virtual darkness due to the traveling smoke.

“Especially with the ongoing environmental catastrophe occurring in the Amazon, we at Copper Branch are proud to partner with an amazing organization like Rainforest Trust to preserve rainforest lands which are absolutely essential to the health of the planet and our species,” said Infantino. “Every time one of our 50,000 loyalty club customers uses their card they are, in their own small and personal way, helping this organization fight the destruction of these indispensable rainforest regions.”

The three-decades-old Rainforest Trust, one of the most respected environmental organizations around the world, protects threatened tropical forests and endangered wildlife by partnering with local and community organizations in and around vulnerable areas. The Rainforest Trust partnership-based approach ensures the long-term protection of tropical ecosystems and the wildlife they hold. They support projects throughout Central and South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia. Over 60 nations and 2 million farmers around the globe have sustainability programs or are certified producers, which improve community livelihoods and protect the environment.

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