Serving giant fried chicken sandwiches and boasting the tagline “taste the revolution,” the Organic Coup opened quietly in Pleasanton, California last November. It’s a modest fast casual food joint from two former Costco executives, focusing on all things fried chicken (i.e., sandwiches, wraps, and bowls), but the restaurant has a bigger purpose: It’s the first certified organic fast food restaurant in the country. And when it opens its second location in downtown San Francisco later this month, the Organic Coup will bring its message to hundreds more people every day.
Of course, any restaurant is allowed to put the word “organic” on the menu if it’s using organic ingredients, as many do even if they haven’t certified the whole place. Lewin says that’s fine with CCOF, which aims to promote organic food as a whole. He speaks to many restaurants that are interested in certification, but he often tells them to get the place open and humming along first and come back when everything is settled.