By Julia Marchionda
Copper Branch, a “plant-based power food” quick-service concept, is poised to open 24 locations in Alberta, Ontario and Québec in 2019, as well as two in the United States. It’s part of a bigger trend of consumers seeking out healthy food options, particularly those looking to reduce or eliminate meat from their diets.
Originating in Montréal in 2014, founder Rio Infantino’s vision was to turn gourmet power foods into quick-service options that would appeal to an underserved and growing market. Today, Copper Branch serves 100% plant-based power foods in 45 locations across Canada. The brand is beginning to establish itself internationally with locations in both the United States and France.
Copper Branch has already seen some locations open this year: one in Thornhill, north of Toronto and another at the South Edmonton Common in Edmonton. The grand opening of their downtown London, ON restaurant happened February 24th, 2019 according to the company’s Facebook page.
The list of planned openings for Copper Branch includes:
Bathurst and Centre Streets, Thornhill - opened February 11
660 Richmond Street, London - opened Sunday, February 24, 2019
Bramalea City Centre, Brampton - opened February 2019
CF Limeridge, Hamilton - opens spring 2019
Yonge Sheppard Centre, Toronto - opens spring 2019
90 Burnhamthorpe road at Hurontario, Mississauga - opens summer 2019
Winston Churchill and Argentia Road, Mississauga, opens summer 2019
Trafalgar and Dundas Roads, Oakville - opens summer 2019
20 boulevard Mortagne, Boucherville
Centre Commercial St Luc, St Jean Sur Richelie
177 boulevard Sir Wilfred Laurier, St Basile le Grand
1732 rue St-Denis, Montréal
5385 Queen Mary Road, Montréal
2350 Wilfred Reid, St. Laurent
1180 rue Stanley, downtown Montréal
Tour Fresk, Ville de Québec
Le Complexe de la Capital, 5600 boulevard Des Galeries, Québec
Odacite, 2e rue Est l’avenue Leonidas Sud, Rimouski
South Edmonton Common - now open
Bankers Hall, Calgary - opens March 2019
Marquee, Calgary - opens May 2019
Seton, Calgary - opens September/October 2019
1515 17 Street, Fort Lauderdale, Florida - now open
196 Bleecker Street, New York City - opens March 2019
Over the last few years, vegan and vegetarian lifestyles have come to focus as they lend themselves to an environmentally sustainable way of living. Because of this shift, concepts like Copper Branch and Mad Radish are gaining momentum and market share in Canada.
Historically meat-based chains like A&W have introduced meatless options for their customers; A&W’s Beyond Meat Burger launch was so successful that it reportedly outsold their classic Teen Burger. The market for vegan and vegetarian options continues to grow, creating an opportunity for new concepts to emerge and for veteran brands to evolve and expand their offerings.
In addition to the locations planned for 2019, Copper Branch continues to seek opportunities in markets across Canada for both open-air centres and enclosed malls. In open-air centres, ideal spaces measure between 1,250 to 2,000 square feet, and in enclosed malls, Copper Branch seeks slightly smaller storefronts, spanning between 450 and 1,500 square feet.
Tony Flanz of brokerage Think Retail has partnered with Copper Branch on its expansion plans in super regional malls nationwide, except for Alberta. Other representatives include Scott Grandin of Dynamic Franchising Group who represents Copper Branch in Ontario except Ottawa, Copper Branch’s Quebec deals are handled by Corey Besner of Core Consultants Realty, Alberta and Manitoba real estate deals are handled by Stephen Travers, and everything else is handled in-house at Copper Branch by Mark Segall.
A graduate from both the University of Toronto and Humber College, Julia spent most of her educational career honing her skills in critical thinking, marketing communications, and finding her unique voice in her writing.
With tenures in several areas of retail under her belt, Julia has lead teams in achieving sales goals and allowed herself to become consumed in understanding retail business.