In a city where new restaurants pop up faster than even professionals who get paid to dine out can keep up, it seems impossible that there’s a restaurant void waiting to be filled. But the physical space where Provence Breads used to be on 21st Avenue South in Hillsboro Village might just be that space.
Caroline Gaston and Whitney Abblitt, two sisters who are both Vanderbilt University graduates, have announced that their new Greenery Co. will fill that now-vacant storefront next spring. The idea behind Greenery Co. is fast-casual salads, bowls and snacks that won’t bust your budget. The recipes are high in nutrients, low on carbs. Chipotle-style, you’ll be able to pick and choose what goes into your dish. The spot won’t be strictly vegetarian, but they say it will be vegetarian-friendly.
When Gaston was living in New York, she appreciated how easy it was to find a place where she could grab a salad to go and get back to work. After moving back to Nashville a year ago, she was happy to be here but found there were fewer fast, healthy food options: “I couldn’t eat the same way in Nashville as I did in New York.”
“Healthy food is not a new concept. We realize we are not reinventing the wheel,” says Gaston’s sister and Greenery Co. co-owner Abblitt. “But we are bringing this concept to a Southern audience.”
The duo chose the Hillsboro Village location because, according to their research, there are more than 100,000 working professionals within one mile of the restaurant, not to mention, tourists and students who frequent the area.
While neither sister has owned a restaurant before, both have human resources experience, and have worked in finance and fashion. Plus, Gaston says, “Whitney and I are big eaters. We love food.”
Gaston participated in a culinary entrepreneurship program which involved working at a fast-casual restaurant.
“I am excited to be in business with my sister,” she said. “We are excited to get to lead people.”
Austin, Texas-based chef Barclay Stratton is consulting on the menu. Stratton worked as chef de cuisine of Merchants in downtown Nashville before moving on to Ovenbird in Birmingham and then to Austin.
Gaston and Abblitt’s mother and a third sister both work in interior design, and their sensibilities have helped the duo develop the Greener Co. look.
“A lot of fast-casual can feel austere. This should feel like someone’s home,” Abblitt says.
The average ticket, with a drink, will be $12.50, they estimate. Nashville is the first outpost for Greenery Co., and the sisters hope it will be the first of many. Stay tuned for an opening date.