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Organic fast food restaurant opens in Bellevue

Erica Welton with Bobby Wagner. (The Organic Coup)
LISTEN: The founders of Organic Coup, Erica Welton and Dennis Hoover

Fast and organic aren’t usually words used in tandem to describe food, but that’s exactly what they’re doing at a new Bellevue restaurant.

Erica Welton and Dennis Hoover are both former Costco employees, they started at the company’s Issaquah headquarters but then made their way down to northern California. During their time at the wholesale retailer, they recognized the market for organic food and decided to found their own business: The Organic Coup.

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“It’s not just one ingredient that’s organic,” Welton told 770 KTTH’s Jason Rantz. “All ingredients, dressing, spices, seasonings are certified organic. Plus, the USDA Organic looks at our cleaning supplies, our pest control; once you walk through the door you know you’re getting clean food.”

Over the course of two years, Hoover and Welton opened 12 locations in California, and just this month they’ve returned to the Pacific Northwest to open their first location in Washington state.

“It just seems to resonate with people who want clean food, or people who are concerned about their bodies,” Welton said. “When it comes to fast food or quick-serve, there aren’t a lot of options.”

Organic food is generally perceived to be pricier than conventional fare, but Hoover said their prices are competitive.

“I don’t know if it’s more expensive if you compare it to other restaurants,” Hoover said. “We just walked down the street and we’re looking at a turkey sandwich. It was $11.”

The name, it turns out, started out as a typo in a text message. They decided to just go with it.

“Dennis actually texted me before we started this, and I think he thought he sent the Organic Coop, but it said coup,” Welton said. “I loved that because it’s like a takeover of the fast food restaurant industry.”

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Nearly all of the Organic Coup sandwiches and wraps feature chicken as the main ingredient, which is why Organic Coop might’ve made more sense as the name, originally.

“It was completely an accident,” Hoover said.

The two founders hope to expand into Tacoma, Everett and other cities in the Puget Sound area.

“We hope to be as many places for people as possible,” Welton said.

The Bellevue Organic Coup location is open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

 

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