The Army & Air Force Exchange Service ushered in a new era of healthy dining options as Freshens Fresh Food Studio made its debut at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Exchange food court, marking the restaurant’s first direct-operated location on an Army or Air Force installation.
“We’re pleased to officially welcome Freshens to the Exchange family,” said Exchange General Manager Robin Chetri. “Airmen deserve to have access to healthy meals in our food court, and Freshens brings plenty of choices to the table.”
355th Mission Support Group Commander Col. Laurie Richter, Freshens President and CEO John Stern, Senior Vice President Ed Redmond, Exchange Western Regional Vice President Stephanie Burns and Exchange Director of Food Programs Darrin McCready joined Chetri in cutting the ribbon on the new restaurant, officially welcoming Freshens to the Exchange family during a grand-opening celebration July 18.
Freshens is known for health-conscious offerings such as hand-crafted crepes, salads, rice bowls, artisan flatbreads, smoothies and yogurt. Freshens also supports the environment by using Ecotainers, which are compostable and biodegradable. The restaurant meets the highest rated nutritional qualification of the military’s new Performance Triad.
“The Exchange is excited to be able to offer a brand that’s uniquely positioned to meet the needs of service members,” said Nalan Howard, Exchange restaurant program planner for Freshens.
The restaurant fits in with the Exchange’s priority of bringing name-brand restaurants with good-for-you menus to service members around the world.
“Offering healthy options in Exchange food courts from brands diners know and trust ensures service members have the fuel they need to stay mission-ready,” said Trinidad Saucedo, Exchange senior vice president for Services and Food. “Restaurants like Freshens help the Exchange live up to its duty to take care of Soldiers, Airmen and their families.”
The Army & Air Force Exchange Service plans to open a Freshens at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., this year, and plans for more locations are being discussed.
On grand-opening day, Airmen lined up to sip smoothies and chow down on flatbreads and more.
“The smoothie was fantastic,” said Tech. Sgt. James Pumarejo, as he grabbed a table in the food court after the ribbon-cutting.
Staff Sgt. Peter Mendenhall agreed, saying “Everything was great—I’ll be going back.”
At Davis-Monthan, Freshens will be open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The restaurant joins Starbucks, Subway, Charley’s, Popeyes and Taco Johns in the food court.