A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Todd Mansfield: What’s behind an active lifestyle eatery with a healthy concept?

I’m often asked how someone who never stepped foot behind a restaurant counter ended up being a founding partner of CoreLife Eatery – an active lifestyle restaurant with a healthy concept that’s rapidly sweeping the nation.

I spent 25 years practicing as a Doctor of Physical Therapy, health and wellness has always been a passion of mine. During that time, my life was consumed with walking people through the mental and physical blows that an injury can take on someone’s life. A new path became clear after a conversation with two restaurateurs and good friends – Larry Wilson and John Caveny.

Todd Mansfield

I quickly became intrigued by the possibility of providing a healthy food restaurant that advocates a lifestyle for physical health and wellness. I realized I could channel my passion for encouraging and rehabilitating people toward offering a healthy, fast-casual restaurant that would allow people to feel good about their food choices – rather than leaving them feeling sluggish and unmotivated after their meal, like most restaurants do. We opened our first restaurant in spring 2015 in Syracuse, New York, and have been rapidly expanding ever since.

CoreLife Eatery grew from a mutual desire shared by my partners and myself to find the solution to one simple question: Why is it so difficult to find healthy clean foods that taste great and are easily accessible every day?

CoreLife Eatery is making it easy to eat clean. Our passion is providing a high energy, active lifestyle eatery focused on bringing nutritious, healthy and great tasting food. Cost and convenience, which are common complaints from people struggling to eat healthy, won’t be a problem: we’re a fast casual restaurant, which means you can walk through our door and have a freshly prepared meal in front of you in a matter of minutes. Our menu is reasonably priced, and full of wholesome options.

Our newest restaurant is in Lexington, conveniently located at the Summit at Fritz Farms. It’s our second store in Kentucky. There, you’ll find ceramic bowls heaping with greens or whole grains, topped with grass-fed beef, mixed vegetables, organic tofu or free-range, antibiotic- and hormone-free chicken and drizzled with dressings made from scratch. Our Southwest Chicken and Wild Rice, complete with a delicious lime cilantro dressing, is the fan favorite. For a beverage, you’ll dive into a refreshing glass of cucumber basil lemonade, cranberry cayenne lemonade, or beet lemonade, our number one seller.

What you won’t find – microwaves or freezers, sodas or highly-caffeinated, sugary sports drinks, high-fructose corn syrup, processed foods, or food coloring. All of our ingredients are GMO-free. Our menu is absent of all the things people are constantly trying to eliminate from their diet. You literally cannot visit CoreLife Eatery and order something unhealthy – we’ve cut out the temptation.

Best of all, it turns out we weren’t the only ones who saw a need for an easy healthy eating option. The customer response around the county has been overwhelmingly positive, driving our sales and name recognition beyond our expectations – and motivating us to open 300 more restaurants nationwide in the next five years. We’re excited to bring our convenient, affordable approach to serving great tasting, healthy foods to the people of Lexington. We can’t wait to see what’s next for the future of CoreLife Eatery in Kentucky.

Todd Mansfield is co-founder of CoreLife Eatery. It is now open in the Summmit at Fritz Farm.

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