Within two years of graduating from LSU, Bradley Sanchez had the perfect job, he thought.
He worked on marketing 16 Broadway shows with New York’s Roundabout Theatre Co., a status he hardly thought he could achieve so quickly.
“It was my dream job,” Sanchez said. “It was exactly what I wanted to do.”
So within two years, what led him to move back to Baton Rouge and open a restaurant focusing on salads?
“I had my dream job, but I started to get restless,” said Sanchez, 25. “I was thinking, my dad’s an entrepreneur and I always wanted to start my own business.”
This week, Sanchez opened the Salad Shop at 3617 Perkins Road, a build-your-own salad shop he likens to the popular burrito assembly line restaurants.
Diners can choose from 50 different ingredients and 12 dressings that can be assembled by a salad builder. The salad can come in a bowl or in a wrap.
There’s even an option to chop the salad because “sometimes you get that one big leaf that’s hard to eat,” Sanchez said.
Ingredients range from grape tomatoes to edamame, a steamed, salty soybean treat. Meat options include chicken, ham, turkey, crab and shrimp.
The idea came from fast, healthy restaurants in New York that Sanchez frequented.
When his fiancée was offered a job back in Baton Rouge working for an educational nonprofit, Sanchez decided it was his chance to start his own business, something he could never afford in New York.
He wavered about committing to the concept. Then he asked his dad’s advice.
“We had bounced a lot of ideas off of each other,” Sanchez said. “This is the one that piqued both of our interests the most.
“Of course I was hesitant. I was 25 and I had to quit my job to start this.
“He told me, ‘You can do it, or you can watch someone else do it, because they will do it.’ ”
He came up with a motto — Think Greens — and had designed a logo of a leaf encircled with the restaurant’s name.
“If I ever was going to do it,” Sanchez said. “I would do it now.”