Giardino Asks Cary to Rethink Salads

Story originally appeared on FoodCary.

Cary, NC – While it has only been open a few months, Giardino Gourmet Salads is already making an impact in Cary, both with new dining options and with donations to the community.

Creating a Fresher Product

Giardino Gourmet Salads opened its first North Carolina location in Cary on Bass Pro Lane in October and site owner Mario Diaz said there has been constant feedback from customers since then.

“We’ve gotten great feedback,” Diaz said. “People are thankful to have healthy options to eat.”

Giardino is a chain popular in South Florida and offers salads with a variety of influences from Thai to Cuban to Greek and more. And Diaz said there is particular focus on freshness.

“That’s the big positive we get back from people. Everything is fresh so it’s healthier and it tastes better,” Diaz said. “And we give a lot of options. We have to break down the menu for customers to make it easy because we have so much.”

Also, the restaurant operates on a fast-casual style so Diaz said it is popular as a lunch destination.

“A lot of people only have 30 minutes for lunch so they can get in easily and get their food quick,” Diaz said. “A lot of sit-down places, you have a 15 minute wait to get the actual food and then even less time to eat it.”

Diaz said there are plans for a minimum of two Giardinos in Wake County and they are interested in locations such as Brier Creek or around WakeMed. But for the rest of the year, Diaz said the focus is on this first location.

“We want to get it going at the grassroots level first,” he said. “We want to make sure we get it right.”

Diaz said they are also focusing on growing the catering side of the business.

Giving Back to Cary

The emphasis on fresh eating comes from Diaz’s own changes in his diet. Years ago, he was diagnosed with leukemia and as he went through his disease, he made several decisions about both his outlook on life and how he treated his body.

“When I got diagnosed with that, it put things in context and showed me what’s important,” he said. “And when it came to healthy eating, it put in my mind that it’s the right thing to do.”

Taking a positive outlook on life in general is another takeway for Diaz and he said eating right is part of that.

“Getting proper nutrition is the right for your state of mind,” he said.

As part of the new opening of Giardino, Diaz said they are offering four days of discounts, with 20 percent off orders every Tuesday from February 21 to March 14, 2017.

“It’s a way of saying thank you to the community for their support,” he said.

Other ways Diaz said he is working to get involved with the Cary community are going to Cary Chamber of Commerce meetings and joining charity project MyCityRocks to give donations from orders to Reedy Creek Elementary School.

Giardino Gourmet Salads is located at 821 Bass Pro Ln.

Story by Michael Papich. Photos courtesy of Natalia Juncadella.