Mendocino Farms has received a minority investment from Whole Foods Market. This is the first restaurant partnership for Whole Foods Market, so as part of the deal the company plans on testing the opening of Mendocino Farms outlets in select markets, that have yet to be determined. This craft sandwich market will offer customers the full Mendocino menu and kitchen, and will be fully staffed with Mendocino team members. According to Del Pero, “so much of this is about needing to learn how to scale sustainability – whole foods can help mentor us in that area.”
Husband and Wife, Mario Del Pero & Ellen Chen, created the concept for Mendocino Farms in 2003. The couple was determined to build a successful business with passion and the vision to serve more than just good food. The first Mendocino Farms opened in 2005 in Bunker Hill, Downtown LA. Since then Mendocino Farms has appeared in neighborhoods across Southern California. In addition to having a loyal customer base the restaurant has great partnerships with some of the best farmers and food artisans in their region. Mendocino Farms is dedicated to providing customers an elevated dining experience while simultaneously supporting the local food economy.
Executive Vice President of Operation at Whole Foods, David Lannon, explained in a statement, “Mendocino Farms is one of the best sandwich and salad concepts out of Southern California and we believe it’s one of the top emerging restaurant brands in the country. Aside from offering delicious, high-quality products we think our customers will love, Mendocino Farms’ core values align well with our own, and that’s very important to us.” Mendocino Farms is scheduled to open its 12th restaurant in Santa Monica, California in November and another restaurant is scheduled to open in Brea, California in early 2016.