America’s first USDA-certified organic fast food restaurant blew into the Bay Area in November in a big way, announcing with its Pleasanton opening that it would quickly follow with ten more locations in the coming year. Now that the second location has opened in the Rincon Center (with two more coming soon to SF), The Organic Coup is thinking even bigger. And to do so, co-founders Erica Welton and Dennis Hoover have tapped the resources of their former boss, Costco co-founder and former CEO Jim Sinegal. Sinegal has signed on as the primary investor in The Organic Coup’s first round of funding, which raised $7 million.
"Jim’s name is a huge deal. He has the highest standards in the retail industry," Hoover told Eater. "We understand that and we definitely don't want to let him down." Hoover worked with Sinegal for decades, calling him a "mentor and lifelong friend." Hoover attributes Sinegal’s involvement to that, and to The Organic Coup’s viability. "If you think about it, our business model is very similar to Costco. We keep it simple," he said.
Current Costco CFO Richard Galanti has also invested in the restaurant, which plans to use that money for growth. "That money gives us a couple years for expansion. We’re testing multiple concepts — we have the urban and the suburban — so we’re trying to see what’s our best model," Hoover said. "We're very scalable, so it’s really a matter of getting the operations in place and continued improvement."