By Hayley Bour
Michele and Cory Fisher of Leesburg thought the Leesburg restaurant scene was missing something. Their new salad and warm bowl restaurant, Lettuce Be LoCo, opened last week, bringing fast, easy, and healthy options to Loudoun County.
Fisher said she and her husband have long worked in restaurants and wanted to marry their passion for the industry with their interest in health. And, with an abundance of local farms, the pair knew they could build a business literally rooted in the community.
“To eat fresh and local and also to bring something healthy with a nice atmosphere was the goal. … It’s just something that feels good,” Fisher said.
The duo partnered with Leesburg-based Master Chef Rich Rosendale to engineer the menu. They spent months in Rosendale’s kitchen, experimenting with recipes, and tweaking their favorite creations to perfection. Fisher said that the secret to a great salad is the dressing. With guidance from Rosendale, Fisher said they concocted some pretty crave-able options.
“It was teamwork, for sure,” Fisher said.
Opening during the pandemic presented challenges; There were delays in getting kitchen equipment, which pushed the restaurant opening back. The Fishers rely on local farms for products, so a later opening after the first frost of the winter meant less availability of food. But, Gathering Springs Farm in Middleburg, and a few other farms, were able to provide enough produce late in the harvest season to stock the kitchen for the winter season.
The Fishers opted for a soft-open last week, giving the team time to fine-tune its operation, and continue to train its new staff.
“It’s been great, but it’s been loco,” Fisher said. “We’ve gotten such good feedback from so many people who work around there, for lunchtime hour. We’ve got all five-star reviews so far, which has been so nice. It’s been really successful, and we’re really happy with how the first week went.”
Even just a week into operations, customers already have their favorite dishes. Fisher said the LoCo Cobb salad, the avocado grain bowl, and the curry cauliflower soup have been a hit. The Fishers plan to offer seasonal creations, optimizing the vegetable supply they curate from local farms.
And soon, salad and health-food lovers will be able to order directly to work or home. Lettuce Be Loco will be an option on the DoorDash app soon.
Right now, the focus is making the Leesburg restaurant a fixture in the community. Eventually the Fishers hope to open other locations in Loudoun County.
Lettuce Be LoCo is located at 208 Church St SE #100 and open daily 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.