Former NBA talent backs new salad restaurant in Maple Grove.
Eating out isn’t always a healthy slam dunk, but franchisee and former NBA player Kris Humphries wants to change that for local diners. Late last year, he teamed up with Minnesota-based restaurant Crisp & Green, which launched in Wayzata (2016) and has expanded to Maple Grove, the North Loop, Edina and Dinkytown, near the University of Minnesota.
“We created Crisp & Green because we believe that access to clean, scratch-made and convenient food can be the greatest mover in someone’s health and wellness journey.” CEO Steele Smiley says. Smiley has five venues; and Humphries owns two of the franchises, the Maple Grove location and Dinkytown. (It’s not Humphries’ first foray into the franchise world, as he’s aligned with several Five Guys locations.)
With his history in sports, from Minnesota Gophers basketball to the NBA, Humphries is dedicated to living a clean lifestyle, and that includes eating well. Since his departure from professional basketball, Smiley says that Humphries believes he’s “more fit today than when he was playing basketball.” Some of that could be due to his regular visits to Crisp & Green. When he’s not traveling, Humphries is in one of his Crisp & Green locations almost daily. “[Kris] and I both spent our lives with health and wellness,” Smiley says. “We both believe very much in this idea of living a healthy lifestyle.”
The baseline criterion for any Crisp & Green location is that “it has to be approachable,” Smiley says. “Providing great quality options for food has not been easy.” It appears this team is committed to make it work. “The term farm-to-table is completely overused, but in our business, it’s actually applicable,” Smiley says. Every morning, the team preps everything from scratch for its menu items.
Despite having a portion of the menu rotate seasonally, Crisp & Green has a selection of signature salads that stick around year-round, such as the chicken Casablanca salad with kale and arugula, roasted chicken, golden beats, chickpeas, currants, roasted almonds, lemon squeeze and a Moroccan-spiced almond dressing. For those craving bolder flavors, the cinco de light salad includes romaine, arugula, avocado, queso fresco, roasted corn, corn chips and jalapeño lime vinaigrette. Staples, such as chicken Caesar and Cobb salads, are available all year, as well.
The build-your-own option highlights seasonal ingredients, with menu items and options updated every few months, and all salads can be modified to fit any diet or restrictions. But for those who don’t love salads, Crisp & Green offers a variety of other choices, such as grain bowls, smoothies and kombucha.
Bringing the kids? You’ll find kid-approved healthy options, such as the adventure bowl with romaine, applewood smoked turkey, local farm eggs, Colby cheese, cucumber and Crisp & Green ranch dressing.
Many franchises have cookie-cutter style décor—not Crisp & Green. “I don’t believe in that,” Smiley says. Instead, he embraces variation and unique vibes for each location. Maple Grove’s site in Arbor Lakes has a very modern take on the Crisp & Green model and is equipped to handle larger crowds.
More Than Health Foods
Crisp & Green has more than good food on its menu. The restaurant also offers free fitness classes each month, which are available at all locations before the restaurant opens for dining.
“Each store has something going on every three days,” Smiley says. A variety of classes is offered and is built for all skill levels. Smiley says that Crisp & Green wants people to learn how to live a better life and set goals for themselves, so they can get fit and stay healthy. “At our core, we promote wellness because we understand that a healthy lifestyle goes beyond the food we create. While our main product is delicious and healthy food, we also educate and provide resources for fitness and self-care,” Smiley says.
With classes covering yoga, meditation and Piloxing (a mix of Pilates and boxing), those interested are sure to find something that sparks an interest
“free of charge, regardless of whether they eat with us or not,” Smiley says. “Our job is to help people understand that living a better life is important to the quality of their life.”
Crisp & Green’s Core Beliefs
An Exceptional Product
“You shouldn’t have to choose between a quick meal and a healthy one.”
“We believe that fast and efficient service can also be kind, engaging and gracious service.”
Commitment to Community
“Living Crisp is more than just eating healthy; it’s a movement that embodies being the best you from the inside out.”