Vale Food Co. is the place to go for make-it-yourself quick bites that highlight health and flavor! Among its six spots across the Sunshine State, the Gainesville location on Archer Road is the closest destination for those looking for a local one-stop shop for nutritious and delicious food.
After working at several restaurants during his years at Florida State University, Vale Food Co. founder Sonny Ilyas was no stranger to the industry. Knowing what went into traditional restaurant food, he searched for healthier and cheaper alternatives to no avail — so he did something about it.
“Before Vale, I worked in the restaurant industry from fast food to fast-casual to fine dining, and I’ve worked in every position from dishwasher to prep-the-line cooking to server. After working in restaurants, I realized that there’s a huge disconnect between nutrition and what people were being served in restaurants.”
Vale Food Co. began as a meal plan delivery service in 2014, but it didn’t take long to become the fast-growing micro-chain it is today. Despite the challenges of Vale’s big transition from a subscription model to a restaurant one, Sonny guarantees that its focus on innovation and its goal to impact the community remains unwavering. In fact, Vale’s dedication to making an impact within every community it works in is key to its success.
“Our bosses are our customers, and we’re constantly trying to create more value for them. We’re always focused on innovation, and we’re always trying to advance our menu, upgrade our recipes and tweak everything for the customer. It’s taken us many, many years to find the right balanced approach with a diverse menu where you can get a bowl with six different things and still have a consistent meal with flavors that complement each other.”
Commitment Beyond the Community
If you’ve ever been inside Vale Food Co., the menu, the decor and the food itself effectively communicate the company slogan: to live an earthly life. Vale’s commitment to the community extends to the Earth and its environment, which is demonstrated in their daily efforts to be sustainable.
Painted on its interior wall is Vale’s second signature slogan: Earth Matters. Not only does Vale Food Co. exclusively serve all-natural food without any artificial preservatives or harmful ingredients, but this health food supercenter also supports local farmers, features tables made from reclaimed wood and uses biodegradable containers to “set a precedent.” After expanding the restaurant, Sonny wanted the chain to live up to its name and eco-friendly brand.
“I’ve always been more Earth-focused throughout my life, and I try to be as sustainable as possible. When I was looking through this list of words and got to the bottom, I saw that vale was an Old English word relating to the Earth, which is where our food comes from. We try to use sustainable materials in all of our restaurants because that’s what built our important brand around, so we want to bring that definition full circle.”
There’s a diverse selection of healthy dishes that can be found at Vale Food ranging from teriyaki chicken to sweet potato noodles. And with a large variety of refreshing choices available at the superfoods station, Vale Food Co. has something for everybody to enjoy. If you stop by this month, you can save on a few of your favorites and enjoy some exclusive Earth Month deals that change every day.
Vale offers high-quality, healthy food all while being Earth-friendly, and its efforts toward sustainability make it worth checking out. This green company invites local eco-conscious consumers to come by and enjoy the colorful, customizable bowls without any guilt — or grease.