On March 7, California-based healthy fast-casual eatery MIXT celebrated the grand opening of its first Arizona location at Scottsdale Quarter.
But they didn’t stay open for long.
“It was really unfortunate timing,” said Leslie Silverglide, MIXT CEO. “We had the grand opening and then, of course, we started seeing the prevalence of COVID[-19] and its spread. To be cautious for society and our team members, we made the decision to close the restaurant the next week temporarily.”
As of April 20, though, MIXT Scottsdale is, well, back in the mix – and donating meals to healthcare workers.
MIXT is taking to-go orders and launched the First in Line program, which donates meals to healthcare workers and the community at large.
The First in Line program initially launched on March 17 at MIXT’s California locations and, as of April 26, has helped feed more than 2,500 people in San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles.
In Scottsdale, MIXT has made donations to HonorHealth Scottsdale Thompson Peak Medical Center and Mayo Clinic in northern Scottsdale.
HonorHealth workers “were just beyond grateful that someone took the time to come out there and drop off the food. They were just amazing,” said Nick Lemaster, MIXT Scottsdale general manager. “It’s been overwhelming in a very heartwarming way.”
As for Mayo Clinic, Lemaster said they contacted MIXT shortly after the drop-off to tell them how much they appreciated the donation.
“The entire team and everyone involved understands how important it is to our healthcare workers,” Lemaster said. “It’s been outstanding.”
With 16 locations in California, Texas, and Arizona, MIXT’s menu boasts a chef-created selection of salads, grain bowls, sandwiches and market plates.
“The greens in your salad are delivered from regional farms directly on the day you dine with us, the dressing and toppings are prepared from scratch by our chefs every day, and the delicious bites of bacon and grilled chicken are cooked to perfection,” Silverglide said. “It’s these details that we obsess over so that you’ll crave the experience of eating better.”
While placing to-go orders on MIXT’s website, patrons have the option to pre-purchase a meal for a first responder or donate to the hospital of their choice and receive $5 off a future order.
“It’s been really a great response from the community,” Lemaster said. “I would say 80 percent of the orders that are coming in online will always have a healthcare worker donation applied to it.”
MIXT Scottsdale so far has partnered with four or five hospitals, clinics, Scottsdale Fire Department Station 9 and Joy Bus, a local nonprofit that delivers fresh, chef-crafted cuisine to homebound cancer patients.
“Joy Bus has been a phenomenal, phenomenal organization. People have been very kind to donate to them,” Lemaster said.
Silverglide added that MIXT is currently in search of more first responder partners, who can email email@example.com.
“What we’re trying to do is get the word out, that we’re happy to work and partner with anybody,” Silverglide said, adding they will continue First in Line for as long as needed.
“It’s been tremendous the number of emails and ‘thank yous’ that we’ve received. It’s really, truly brought tears to my eyes,” she said.
Silverglide added: “I think more, than anything, healthcare workers and people on the frontline are feeling appreciated, and having something else to eat, not having to worry about that has just been a huge relief and helps bring joy to their day.”
MIXT was the first multi-unit restaurant concept to become a Certified B Corporation, a legal classification for businesses that balance purpose and profit.
According to B Corps’ website, the B Corp community works toward reduced inequality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier, environment, stronger, communities and the creation of more high-quality jobs.
“When we opened the first unit 14 years ago, the idea was always to do good for the community,” Silverglide said. “We’ve wanted to be much more than a restaurant. We wanted it to be a place that’s environmentally sustainable throughout. We wanted to be a partner in the community and be a business for good. That’s in the core DNA of who we are as a company.”
When the pandemic hit, Silverglide and the MIXT team immediately launched the First in Line program and quickly expanded it to include anyone in need.
“We saw that everyone was being impacted by this so quickly and with so much uncertainty, so we wanted to continue to do what we could do, which is give people delicious healthy meal,” Silverglide said.
“So, beyond the First in Line program, we also have made our food available to anyone in need. If you’re somebody that you say that you’ve been deeply impacted and are deeply in need, then we provide you with a free or discounted meal. No questions asked,” she added.