Self-described “revolutionary fast food” restaurant Locol from celebrity chef/restaurateurs Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson is partnering with Whole Foods Market to bring its mission-driven business to San Jose. There, if not necessarily beyond, Whole Foods will host a branch of the restaurant, known for its health-conscious burgers and fast-food style items.
”Going into our third year we are proud to announce the partnership of Locol and Whole Foods Market to continue to make quality, organic, and natural foods available for all,” Locol co-founder Roy Choi said according to a press release from Whole Foods. “We will open in the [Whole Foods Market] San Jose and continue our mission as a bridge to all people, all access.” Choi has already forged a partnership with Whole Foods in Los Angeles to bring a branch of his rice bowl restaurant Chego to Whole Foods in Downtown LA.
Founded in 2016 with lofty ambitions, Locol has struggled to scale beyond two locations, and news of a partnership with the now Amazon-owned Whole Foods could have major ramifications for the company. However, Locol’s focus so far, with its locations in Watts and West Oakland, has been on diners who might lack access to quality food at reasonable prices — not on Whole Foods’ typically affluent clientele.
The San Jose Whole Foods Market, located at 777 The Alameda, already operates a coffee and juice bar and a brewery taproom, Floodcraft Brewing. According to Nick Heustis, Whole Foods’ regional marketing coordinator, Locol is taking over an area in the grocery store’s kitchen space, from which Locol staff will prepare their full menu and serve it to Whole Foods customers in the prepared foods area, as well as via a pass through window to the Floodcraft Brewing taproom.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Chefs Roy and Daniel here in San Jose,” Whole Foods regional president Rob Twyman said in a press release. “Whole Foods Market is always looking for unique opportunities to serve our community, and we think customers will enjoy and appreciate Locols menu of fast, health-conscious and delicious food as well as their mission to improve food access.”