Culinary brand CAVA opened one of its first South Carolina locations in Mount Pleasant on March 11.
The Mediterranean food chain first launched in 2006 in Bethesda, Maryland, with co-owners Ted Xenochristos, Ike Grigoropoulos and Dimitri Moshovitis. “People knew French food, knew Italian food, but what was Greek food or even Mediterranean food all about?” Xenochristos said. In 2018, the company acquired Mediterranean chain Zoës Kitchen and leveraged the acquisition to help expand its reach to over 100 locations across the United States. CAVA opened its first South Carolina locations in Greenville, South Carolina, in February.
“We always wanted to expand to suburban markets, and we saw the Zoë’s as an opportunity,” Xenochristos said. “What you’re seeing in those markets, there’s not a lot of Mediterranean food, and we see ourselves as one of the leaders in Mediterranean fast casual dining.”
CAVA serves Mediterranean-style cuisine, offering customizable bowls with a variety of traditional Greek and Mediterranean food options like pita, harissa, braised lamb and kalamata olives, along with housemade juices and teas and a seasonal menu. The company has also expanded its products to grocery stores like Whole Foods, selling packaged dips like Crazy Feta, Harissa and a variety of hummuses.
Xenochristos expressed his excitement of opening a CAVA in the Charleston area, as the city has become one of his favorites in recent years. He also sees CAVA’s expansion to the Lowcountry as an opportunity to bring jobs to the market and be a “good partner to the community.”
“Charleston is such a great food city as is, and we love the fact that we offer something different and we’re differentiating ourselves from other places and just being a part of the food culture there.”
CAVA is located in the old Zoë’s Kitchen on 1242 Belk Drive and open Monday-Friday 10:45 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10:45 a.m.-3 p.m.
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