O'naturals Is First Maine Restaurant Certified As An Environmental Leader

Monday, April 30, 2007

Designation fits with chain's commitment to organics and Earth-friendly missions

O'Naturals restaurants in Falmouth and Portland are the first restaurants in Maine to be named "Environmental Leader" by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), a designation that reflects the chain's long-standing commitment to healthy eating, organic agriculture and responsible environmental action.

The Environmental Leader Program recognizes restaurants for efficiently managing energy and water usage, using environmentally-friendly cleaners, and using as much local food as possible to cut down on transportation miles, a contributing factor to climate change.

"O'Naturals lives its commitment to the environment every day, by serving meals made from natural, organic and local ingredients," says O'Naturals COO Jay Friedlander, who spearheaded the environmental leadership effort. "When you're sitting in our sustainably designed space, eating wild Bison meatloaf, organic beef or a locally produced goat cheese sandwich, your meal is promoting a greener world." This marks the first time the DEP Environmental Leader program has focused on restaurants. The program provides technical assistance through a comprehensive workbook, self-certification checklist, site visits and workshops, which educate business owners about the environmental aspects of running a restaurant.

With the designation, O'Naturals plans to build on its success. "We look forward to continuing to improve our sustainable design and environmental stewardship with the help of this program," says Gary Hirshberg, President and CE-Yo of organic yogurt maker Stonyfield Farm and O'Naturals co-founder with current O'Naturals President and CEO Mac McCabe. "Programs like these make all of us more aware that everything we do � as consumers, as business people, as citizens of the planet � have a profound impact. We're honored by this designation and encourage other restaurants follow our example." About O'Naturals O'Naturals, the only natural and organic quick service restaurant chain in the country, was named one of seven Hot Concepts in 2004 by Nation's Restaurant News magazine, has been the subject of several subsequent national feature stories and also was spotlighted on the Food Network's "Unwrapped" series.

After announcing franchising opportunities in 2006, company officials at O'Naturals fielded well over 1,500 inquiries from all over the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The first franchise location opened in the fall of 2006 in Wichita, KS.

In addition to the franchise restaurant, O'Naturals has three company-owned locations: Portland and Falmouth, ME; and Acton, MA. Another location is scheduled to open soon in Orlando, FL., and the newest franchisee is beginning plans for two restaurants in Asheville, NC and two restaurants in Greenville, SC.

For more information about O'Naturals, visit www.onaturals.com.

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44 Exchange St., #305
Portland, ME

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