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Greenwich Duo Grows Healthy, Quick-Serve Eatery Into Thriving Business

Cos Cob residents Cai and Jeffrey Pandolfino, co-founders of Green & Tonic, pose in their store.
Cos Cob residents Cai and Jeffrey Pandolfino, co-founders of Green & Tonic, pose in their store. Photo Credit: File

GREENWICH, Conn. — After Greenwich residents Jeffrey and Cai Pandolfino sold Plum Pure Foods & Catering in 2008, they began juicing and making smoothies at home. And when they looked for healthy dining options outside their house, they found out they weren't alone.

“We realized a lot of people just like us looking for healthier foods options in town,” Jeffrey told the Daily Voice. “They were tired of the traditional pizza, deli, takeout places that existed. So we set out to create a concept around living a healthy lifestyle.”

The Pandolfinos started Green & Tonic in 2011, which has grown into a four-store healthy eating quick service concept — in downtown Greenwich, Cos Cob, Darien and New Canaan — with a fifth location on the way in Westport.

They specialize in vegan, plant-based foods. For breakfast, the eatery offers meals to replace the traditional breakfast with healthier options such as smoothies, quinoa oatmeal and chia seed puddings.

A few hours after breakfast and before lunch, many active moms and dads stop in between breakfast and lunch to get their "mid-morning fuel" for the day. Jeffrey offers array of cold-pressed organic juices that appeal to customers during that time.

Jeffrey’s favorite is the Sun Raven, a green vegetable blend with a kick of cayenne. “I drink one of those every day,” he said.

While the products at Green & Tonic don’t contain animal proteins, Jeffrey sometimes adds a slice of grilled fish to one of the salads for dinner.

Jeffrey said he seeks to create a business with healthy, energy-rich food that customers crave.

In the future, Jeffrey is working to bring new technology into his store by introducing a loyalty program and allowing customers to pay with their mobile phones.

And, like a healthy plant, Jeffrey always has growth on his mind. “We wake up every day thinking about how we’re going to make our business grow,” he said.

For more information on Green & Tonic, visit the website here .

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