Roots Natural Kitchen is set to make its State College debut next week, and co-founder Alberto Namnum is excited about extending the brand’s unique, healthy eating lifestyle to East Beaver Avenue.
Namnum and co-founder Alvaro Ansbach started out as college friends, and took notice of a lack of appealing healthy food restaurants.
Namnum recalled that most healthy options were cold, tasteless, and most of these healthy options focused on the greenery rather than creating something hearty.
This led him and his partner to opening the first Roots Natural Kitchen in Charlottesville, Virginia, outside their alma mater, the University of Virginia.
“We’ve found ourselves opening in college towns, and Penn State just felt like the right next move,” Namnum said.
There are also Roots Natural Kitchen locations in Newark, Delaware, Richmond, Virginia, and Pittsburgh.
The restaurant, located at 270 E. Beaver Ave., will feature foods that are designed to taste good as well as being a healthy, affordable eating option.
Namnum said that their mission is to create meals made from natural ingredients while also appealing to the customers’ taste buds.
The restaurant offers traditional salads as well as their “signature” green bowls.
“The bowls have a base of either lettuce or rice, and customers are able to pick and choose ingredients they want to top off these bowls,” said Namnum.
Children under 12 eat for free at Roots Natural Kitchen locations — a policy that stems from the founders’ mission of wanting to make eating healthy as easy as possible for everyone.
Namnum said that the restaurant wants to be more than the lettuce and calories, but a restaurant that people go to because they enjoy eating these healthy options.
“We want to prioritize the customer. This allows them to have a place not only where the kid wants to eat, but the options are also healthy,” said Namnum.
Namnum is looking forward to meet members of the State College community, and hopes for the restaurant to make its mark during upcoming events such as the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.
The restaurant is set to open July 1. For more information, visit www.rootsnaturalkitchen.com.