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Made in Arizona: 10 famous restaurant brands with local roots

They may be national and even worldwide brands today but these restaurant brands all had their humble beginnings in the Grand Canyon State.

Think any of your favorite Arizona restaurant brands made it to the list? Read on to find out.

  1. Cold Stone Creamery

    First opened in 1988, Cold Stone Creamery co-founded by Donald and Susan Sutherland in Tempe, Arizona became renowned for their smooth and creamy brand of super-premium ice cream.

    Their winning business model centered around allowing their customers to build their own ice cream combinations using a variety of toppings and mixing them by hand on a frozen granite stone with premium ice cream that’s made right on location.

    Today, Cold Stone Creamery is one of bestselling ice cream brands in the US today and it holds more than 1500 stores worldwide.

  2. P.F. Chang’s China Bistro

    It’s the restaurant that put Asian cuisine into the mainstream. P.F. Chang’s started out in 1993 when founders Phillip Chiang and Paul Fleming debuted their first restaurant at Scottsdale Fashion Square.

    Today, this very famous chain boasts more than 200 restaurants in different states in the U.S. and up to 66 locations in 19 countries worldwide.

  3. True Food Kitchen

    The brainchild of renowned Fox Restaurant Concepts founder and restaurateur Sam Fox, True Food Kitchen was first opened in Phoenix’s Biltmore Fashion Park in 2008.

    The restaurant served a revolutionary menu that featured a selection of Paleo and Mediterranean-diet-friendly, vegan and gluten-free plates based on the anti-inflammatory diet by alternative medicine guru Dr. Andrew Weil.

    Sam’s vision of serving mouthwatering health-driven dishes with a contemporary twist proved highly-successful with True Food Kitchen finding itself in 12 locations across the country today, with six more set to open by the end of 2016.

  4. North Italia

    Launched in 2003, North Italia is one of Fox Restaurant Concepts’ earliest Italian brands.

    This restaurant became popular for it’s delicious Italian pizza and pasta dishes. One of its biggest draws is that it’s restaurants feature exciting exhibition kitchens where diners can see their how their meals are prepared.

    North Italia currently has nine locations in five states.

  5. Flower Child

    Another creation under the Fox Restaurant Concepts brand, Flower Child is a fast casual experience that also focuses on healthy ingredients.

    It features a uniquely customizable menu of bowls, salads, wraps, and kids meals which customers can mix and match depending on their cravings.

    Flower Child has spread to four locations in two states and there are plans to open two more by the end of 2016.

  6. Grabbagreen Fruit + Juice

    Grabbagreen Fruit + Juice was the company that introduced the world of fast-casual cooking to all-natural, gluten-free dishes and juices when it opened in 2013.

    It’s all natural menu featured made-to-order salads, quinoa, smoothies, and and brown rice bowls with customizable options.

    Based in Scottsdale Grabbagreen Fruit + Juice exploded into more than 60 locations across the country when founder Keely Newman moved the restaurant to a franchise model.

  7. Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant

    Olivia and Julio Garcia’s success story started out in 1956 as a mere taco stand with two picnic tables in Phoenix, Arizona.

    Word of their great traditional family recipes spread through the valley and then their humble establishment turned into an unexpected success. The couple opened their first full-service, sit-down restaurant in 1959.

    Perhaps in a return to their humble roots, the couple sold all but one of their restaurants in 1981.

    Olivia and Julio saved their original restaurant, The Original Garcia’s Las Avenidas, located in 35th Avenue and McDowell Road where it still serves to this day.

    Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant currently has a chain of 11 restaurants in 4 states. They still use Olivia’s timeless recipe.