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Mediterranean Fast Casual

Cava Group is an American company that owns and operates a fast-casual Mediterranean restaurant across the US. The company serves a variety of different foods, dips, and sides in its locations across the country. Cava Group focuses on bowls and pitas with healthy varieties of rice and salad as its base with customers having the option to choose Mediterranean staples as proteins. The company also offers catering options and sells a variety of different items such as hummus and other dips in select grocery store chains. Cava Group is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and its shares are listed on the NYSE.

The Founding Team and Brett Schulman

The company was founded by three childhood friends who met at their Greek-Orthodox church’s Sunday school when they were six years old. The three, all first-generation Greek-Americans, held a special place in their hearts for Mediterranean cuisine. The trio opened up a neighborhood restaurant in Rockville, Maryland called Cava Mezze in 2006, which quickly became a favorite among locals. The company started selling its signature dips and spreads in various grocery stores a couple of years later, and when Brett Schulman was hired as CEO and co-founder of the soon-to-be-launched fast-casual dining restaurant chain (CAVA), expansion was rapid. The company went public in 2023 after having grown to over 200 restaurants nationwide.

Fast Casual

CAVA, a fast-casual restaurant chain, specializes in Mediterranean cuisine, offering a modern, health-focused dining experience. Known for its customizable approach, patrons at Cava can create their meals by choosing from a variety of bases like salads, grain bowls, or pitas, and then adding proteins, dips, and toppings. Key ingredients include grilled chicken, falafel, hummus, and a range of fresh vegetables, reflecting the diverse flavors of the Mediterranean diet. The company is often compared to Chipotle in terms of the ordering and dining experience offered.

Grocery Store Offerings

As previously mentioned, Cava Group also sells its products directly to consumers in grocery stores and offers a range of its signature products, primarily dips and spreads. These include popular items like hummus, tzatziki, and harissa, mirroring the flavors found in their restaurants. These items are sold at Whole Foods (owned by Amazon) nationwide, as well as several other smaller chains and shops across the northeastern United States.