Mad Radish offers healthy fast food

by Michael Abbey

  Salad-ChickenI had the pleasure of chatting with David Segal, owner of Mad Radish at 859 Bank Street, just south of Fifth Avenue. The place is brand spanking new, with lots of soft colours and pristine counter tops, state-of-the-art displays and green lettuce peeking out from cold storage. Segal is a Glebite and has been for some time. Mad Radish also lives in Montréal, as well as at 116 Albert Street in what used to be the Grand & Toy store at Metcalfe. The Glebe “is a perfect combination of residential and urban; you’ve got Lansdowne close by. It’s a really good test market,” says Segal.

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David Segal, Glebe resident and owner of David’s Tea, has opened Mad Radish in the Glebe, specializing in fast, healthy food. Photo: Michael Abbey

“I’m one of Mad Radish’s biggest customers; I love the food,” says Segal. There are lots of places for food in the Glebe, but Mad Radish’s offering of “good food that tastes good” will separate it from the pack. They are dedicated to helping clientele turn around their eating habits with a mix of wholesome food presented in a way that is pleasing to the eyes and taste buds. Executive chef Nigel Findlay learned his craft in Toronto and is a key decision-maker on product and presentation at Mad Radish.

They have a nutritionist on staff as well and are proud of where they get most of their raw ingredients. Currently they buy from 19 different farms, most no more than one or two hours away. They have no red meat whatsoever, with chicken from Voltigeurs farms in Drummondville, Québec and fish from Sustainable Blue in Burlington, Nova Scotia. All this is served up alongside a tidal wave of fresh vegetables, fruit and more.

The average price of a meal is $13, and they do not take cash. According to Segal, “a lot of the value meals are over $10 now anyway,” so Mad Radish’s price-point is in line with what people can get as an alternative. Segal sees the cashless business as a trend in the industry and an approach that commerce is embracing in general. They will have a reloadable gift card that will allow the younger generation to frequent Mad Radish after parents load mullah onto the card.

The menu will move with the season. There will be a base offering that will not change, accompanied by fare that morphs up to five times a year. New salads will entice a solid base of clientele hooked on the quality of the food. Vegan and vegetarian customers will also be happy with the Mad Radish’s offerings.

The Glebe location is accessible. Segal has visions of people ordering from the app, grabbing their prepaid meal from the pickup window and being on their way in no time. Mad Radish’s good quality food fits well with the fast pace of much of society. He sees their pickup window as being a draw for the community and the workforce in the neighbourhood.

You can also show up in person. Parking is plentiful going north on Bank Street after 9:30 a.m. during the week. Segal loves, “the fact that we’re near McDonald’s. It’s quite a contrast and it sends a message.” The Glebe location holds upwards of 45 people. Expansion is at the front of Segal’s mind and he has already acquired extra space next door.

Mad Radish is committed to ensuring their cashless business translates into happier customers. Not having the overhead of a cash business will translate to lower pricing on the menu. The persistent message from Segal and Mad Radish: quality, quantity and contribution to health, alongside minimal waste. Almost all their goods, from the food itself to the containers used for distribution, are compostable or recyclable. You won’t find mountains of garbage bags in the alleys behind their stores.

Segal’s parting words were, “We’re cashless and trashless. We want to have an impact because we feel strongly about this. It may cost us a bit more, but it’s worth it.” Mad Radish is already at the forefront compared to some of the more established fast-food-like establishments. Mad Radish may be just what the doctor ordered.

Michael Abbey is a retired high-tech professional and bridge enthusiast who writes about business for the Glebe Report. He can be reached at abbey.fenderpbs@gmail.com or on Twitter @Prefer Majors.

Mad Radish-Mad Radish promises Canadians food that tastes as gre

859 Bank Street
Open every day,
10:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.

www.madradish.com
Twitter @eatmadradish
Instagram eatmadradish
Facebook
facebook.com/eatmadradish

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