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History of the Brand: How The Salad Station Has Stayed True To Its Family-Focused Farming Roots

The self-serve, pay-by-the-pound salad franchise has a long history of supplying happy customers with an abundant menu of “Fresh, Full, Clean” options.

For the Liuzza-Henderson family, farming is much more than a hobby or a job—it is a way of life, passed down from generations.

In 2012, The Salad Station was founded by mother-and-son duo Cindy (née Liuzza) and current-CEO Scott Henderson, who built their “dream business” by leveraging deep industry knowledge and a shared passion for farm-fresh produce.  Since then, the brand’s commitment to a bountiful salad bar that is always “Fresh, Full, Clean” has made the franchise a truly unique concept and has contributed to its significant growth throughout its home state of Louisiana, as well as throughout Alabama, Mississippi and Florida.

The Liuzza-Henderson’s five-generation family farm dates back in 1943, with Cindy’s father, Italian-American farmer Joe Liuzza and his 20 acres of land. Thanks to the family’s perseverance and entrepreneurship, that farm now occupies 500 acres and is the largest strawberry and vegetable farm in the state of Louisiana.

Before founding The Salad Station, Cindy opened two retail farmers market locations—named Berry Town Produce—with the goal of creating a place where the communities could come to buy farm-fresh products. In both the Hammond and Ponchatoula locations, customers flocked to the markets to find a wide variety of products including seafood, custom gift baskets, homemade meals to go, pottery, fudge and more.

Ten years later, Cindy’s son Scott Henderson utilized his skills developed as a wholesale produce distributor to acquire and revamp a popular Hammond, Louisiana steak house, known today as “Buddies Bar & Grill.” Despite a competitive market, Henderson persevered with great success—and today, Buddies is known as the best steakhouse in town. 

The mother-and-son duo’s past experiences running their own businesses gave them the industry knowledge to create and execute a successful concept that would fill a significant gap in the market. The Salad Station’s first location opened in June 2012 with the aim of offering a place where guests could create their own meals using the freshest ingredients available. 

“We were doing so much business at the first location that we decided to open up a second location nearby and just months later, in September, our doors opened at our second store,” said CEO Scott Henderson. “After understanding the opportunity to scale the concept in 2014, we decided to open our doors to franchising and put an FDD together. In 2015, we sold our first franchise unit.”

From day one, The Salad Station has strived for a clean atmosphere and an overwhelmingly positive customer-service experience. By combining the pay-by-the-pound concept with a family-friendly atmosphere and fresh local ingredients, The Salad Station has set itself apart from the competition. 

“After opening our first two stores, with lines out the door and averaging about 500 people in our stores daily, we realized that this was something special and thought, ‘What if we offered this dream job as an opportunity for others to pursue?’” said Scott Henderson. “That’s when we knew we wanted to give others the opportunity to enter this business through franchising. We were confident that we had a proven concept and we went hard to work.”

Thanks to the family’s farming background—and thus, connections with major produce distributors—and entrepreneurial experience, The Salad Station launched with both the passion and the acumen necessary to drive major growth and development. Now, the simplified business model, operations support, family-friendly hours, industry-savvy concept and innovative approach to healthy eating has made The Salad Station a competitive and attractive career path for franchise entrepreneurs across the country. 

As The Salad Station continues to grow successfully in its home state of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida, the brand, which currently has 23 locations, possesses the necessary ingredients to become a leading franchise in the national salad segment. Its aggressive growth plan aims to increase the brand to 30 units by the end of 2020 and 100 units by the end of 2021.

In everything The Salad Station accomplishes, grandfather Joe Liuzza’s work ethic and the family’s heartfelt commitment to quality and passion shine through. More than anything, the Henderson family takes great pride in the opportunity to work together to bring healthy and affordable food options to customers. 

“The vast amount of time we spend together as a family has taught us patience and trust,” said Scott Henderson. “Every member of our family brings different talents to the table. Every person plays a specific part in the success of our businesses. We are humbled and thank God for every success.”

The Salad Station franchise investment ranges from $198,650 and $354,900. To learn more about franchising with The Salad Station, visit https://thesaladstation.com/franchising

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