Fresh Kitchen (FK) is my number one go-to food spot in the city of Tampa — the quick service concept from the Ciccio Restaurant Group makes the most addicting and delicious paleo chocolate chip cookies in this world. If you haven’t had the sweet potato noodles you have not lived. Acclaim aside, the ever-growing Fresh Kitchen concept is set to open its 10th location near USF in New Tampa this March.
The north Hillsborough County location will serve fresh, clean, high-quality meals that are made from scratch and 100% gluten-free to University of South Florida students and the surrounding communities. This combination is absolutely academic.
Ciccio Restaurant Group (CRG), the parent company of Fresh Kitchen, reimagined fast food when they opened their first FK restaurant to overwhelming success in Tampa’s SoHo district in 2014. A wide array of healthy options, including fresh tofu, almond crusted chicken, clean green rice, steak, and holy kale sauce have made it a staple amongst local diners.
Locations throughout the Tampa Bay region
The growing concept now has locations in Tampa’s Westshore District, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Boca Raton, Davie, Downtown Orlando, East Orlando / Waterford Lakes and Lake Mary.
“Our mission has always been to make healthy eating convenient and accessible, in an environment that feels fun and welcoming. Making a positive impact in the communities is also at the core of what we hope to do — whether it’s through giving back to causes that we find meaningful, providing our people opportunities to be a partner in the business, or just being the place where everyone feels welcome,” FK Brand President Steven Lanza said. “Over the past seven years, FK has truly turned into something so special. Having started this journey in Tampa, it feels really special to be opening our 10th location in our very own backyard. We can’t wait to feed all of the USF students and residents in the surrounding communities.”
Fresh Kitchen’s online ordering platforms, and exiting partnerships with food delivery apps allowed the concept to continue operating safely throughout the pandemic.
New safety protocols introduced at all FK locations
All team members wear masks, complete daily health checks and undergo food safety and sanitation training. Customers visiting FK locations are also asked to wear masks upon entering.
“This pandemic has been challenging for so many, and we feel extremely fortunate to have received so much love and support from our communities as we’ve continued to navigate this ‘new normal.’ The past year has really pushed us to innovate and evolve with our guests’ needs, by providing even more ways for them to enjoy our food,” Lanza said. “As we open our doors in New Tampa, we remain committed to helping guests get their FK fix in whatever way feels good to them — whether that means third-party delivery, contactless pick up, or grabbing a table in our dining room. No matter which option, we’re taking every measure to ensure it’s safe, and that the experience has the same level of convenience and hospitality we are known for.”
Fresh Kitchen opening a drive-thru location outside Tampa Bay
With guest needs in mind, an 11th Fresh Kitchen, which is coming later this year to Gainesville, will be Fresh Kitchen’s first location with a drive-through window. The window will be for pick up orders only and is designed to add even more convenience to the FK experience. The Gainesville restaurant will be located near the University of Florida and is slated to open sometime late summer.
This build-your-own bowl revelation is 100% gluten-free, and offers ample vegan-friendly options to accommodate diners regardless of their dietary preference. Pro tip: if zucchini brownies are in stock, treat yourself. The easy ordering process (almost cafeteria-style) allows for a quick in-and-out experience.
Healthy thirst quenchers at Fresh Kitchen
Freshly brewed teas, lightly sweetened juice frescas, and a variety of bottled and canned beverages are complemented by cane sugar craft sodas. A selection of gluten-free, paleo-friendly desserts, like Chocolate Chip Cookies and Zucchini Brownies, is also available in the refrigerated case at the entrance to the line as well as at the cashier’s station.
The Fresh Kitchen New Tampa location is revealing a whole new look and feel for its’ 10th location. Known for their Instagram-worthy art and cheeky sayings, the new location will feature familiar pops of FK’s signature vibrant pink and roses but will also introduce some brand-new colors and textures into the design. Additionally, the location will feature a unique art installation from a local artist.
More than $30,000 in food donations
Charitable giving has always been part of the Fresh Kitchen credo. Over the past five years, Fresh Kitchen has donated more than $165,000 to various charities and has given an additional $30,000 worth of food donations. Continuing the tradition, as the New Tampa location prepares for their opening, all proceeds from their pre-opening Friends and Family events will go directly to a local charity.
Fresh Kitchen New Tampa is slated to open in mid-March.
The store will be located at 8648 Hunters Village Road, next to Sprouts Farmers Market off Bruce B. Downs Boulevard. It will be open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9:35 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9:05 p.m. Once open, the restaurant can be reached by phone at 813-336-3800.
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