On Portland’s mercurial Exchange Street one quick-serve eatery is growing like a kale storm. B.good, the Boston-based franchise delivering “real food” at fast-food speed is ready to increase its Maine footprint.
Owner Bill Zolper crosses the Casco Bay Bridge next month to make South Portland b.good’s second Pine Tree State outpost.
“Everything is going awesome in Portland,” said the Bangor native, who runs b.good with his father Ben Zolper. “We are coming up on our second birthday Oct. 2. It’s been amazing and very exciting.”
Now SoPo can have its quinoa bowls on the jiffy. B.good’s new location, 200 Gorham Road next to the Olive Garden near The Maine Mall, is set to open the second week in September. (Back to school shopping suddenly seems bearable).
“We are evolving,” said Zolper. “Our identity is real food, but we are always changing.” To mix it up, hot salads were added over the winter and grilled tofu is the adjunct du jour.
On the seasonal front, farmer relations, which the Boston founders forged years ago, remain strong. Peach smoothies made with fresh fruit from Spiller Farm in Wells are the current guilt-free gulp. Corn, ripe as of today in Maine, is now tossed into bowls and salads. All heaping portions appear within minutes — the b.good promise.
“Our focus is health and time,” says Bill Zolper. “Time is money. If you can get something good for you, but also delicious and quickly, that has value.”
To celebrate their success, the Maine franchisees are taking it to the street. On Sunday, August 9, the company throws a block party on Exchange Street and you are invited.
“We do community nights every Wednesday. Once a year we want to do something bigger for employees and our community to show we are more than a restaurant,” said Bill, who lives in Portland.
To celebrate, he has invited other restaurants, shops and breweries to participate. Exchange Street will shut down from Middle to Fore streets from 12 to 5 p.m. B.good serves an you can eat buffet, Rising Tide and Peak’s Organic pour $5 pints, The Holy Donut, Starbucks and even LuLuLemon get into the spirit with food, caffeine and yoga stretches.
“I’d love to make it an annual event,” said Zolper, who sees this as an employee appreciation day plus civic pride. Come one come all.