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How Former Costco Execs Decided To Give Fast Food An Organic Twist

Organic Coup chicken sandwich meal
Organic Coup chicken sandwich meal - Facebook

The Organic Coup may sound like a strange name for a fast-food chicken restaurant; both the organic aspect and the connotation of the word coup, a term most closely associated in modern parlance with a military takeover. Interestingly enough, it wasn't the original idea for the business' appellation. According to The Organic Coup's website, the name was actually the result of a typo of coop -- an enclosure used for containing poultry. However, the co-founders, former Costco executives Erica Welton and Dennis Hoover, decided to stick with the name because they felt it reflected their goal and mission of taking over the fast-food industry with organic products.

With its launch in 2015, The Organic Coup became the first USDA-certified organic fast-food chain in the country. As its name implies, the execs centered the menu primarily around organic chicken and veggie options such as sandwiches, wraps, bowls, and salads. The signature sandwich features all-organic ingredients: air-chilled chicken cooked in refined coconut oil, topped with spicy veggies on an artisan bun.

Read more: 75 Healthy Chicken Recipes Everyone Will Love

Filling A Need

people shopping at Costco
people shopping at Costco - Bloomberg/Getty Images

Coming from Costco, which earned its organic bona fides in 2015 as the largest organic retailer in the nation, Welton and Hoover signaled plans for early rapid expansion of The Organic Coup's locations. The objective was to go toe-to-toe with the fast-food industry -- but with an organic twist. Prior to co-founding The Organic Coup, Welton had accrued years of valuable knowledge and experience helping build Costco into the organic powerhouse it is today. As an ex-Costco senior vice president, Hoover brought the operations expertise. Based on her time at Costco, Welton recognized that there was a general demand for a cleaner and healthier fast-food option, notably for an organic chicken sandwich.

Their venture received an early boost after Costco founder Jim Sinegal and Costco chief financial officer Richard Galanti invested millions in the enterprise. Welton and Hoover opened their first store in Pleasanton, California, in 2015, soon expanding. Today they have locations at sporting venues including Levi's Stadium, home of the NFL's San Francisco 49ers, and Oracle Park, which hosts MLB's San Francisco Giants, as well as on the University of San Francisco campus. The Organic Coup products are also available retail at shops such as Costco and Whole Foods. In a June 2023 report, the business and financial news website MarketWatch listed the company as a key player in the organic fast-food market.

Read the original article on Mashed.