Chop Stop was conceived from a frustrated craving for chopped salads and nowhere to buy them. “I could sometimes find a single chopped salad on a menu,” founder Mark Kulkis recalls. “But even those were few and far between. I couldn’t believe a health-conscious city like L.A. didn’t offer more.”
So Kulkis decided to take matters into his own hands. “For me, the key is to chop all the ingredients really fine, so the flavors and textures combine in every bite. I also like a lot of ‘stuff’ in my salads such as meat, cheese and fun toppings like fried onions. I made them the way I wanted to eat them.”
When he shared his creations with friends, their rave reviews convinced him that he could make a business of it. He joined forces with Joey Gonzalez, a veteran restaurant operator with over 30 years’ experience, and in 2011 they opened the first Chop Stop in Burbank, California. It was an immediate success and the team proceeded to open an additional location each year after that, culminating with their Franchise Training Center Restaurant in Glendale, California in 2016. This was also the year the first franchise location opened, and the company has been expanding rapidly through franchising ever since.