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Ray Allen, the former player for the Miami Heat, just opened a new organic restaurant called Grown. However, Grown has a special hook to bring in customers and that is Grown is also considered a fast-food restaurant.

According to an article writtey by CBS Miami, Ray Allen and his wife Shannon Allen opened up a new fast-food restaurant called Grown and it is located in South Miami. The idea for the restaurant, which works a lot like a fast-food restaurant with a quick-to-order format, came into formation a couple years back. Shannon, who is a mother of five, had a troublesome time finding a healthy food solution, that was also quick and fast, for her middle son who suffers from type-1 diabetes.

“When you have a child with a serious medical condition that’s insulin dependent who every day is fighting for his life, you don’t want to layer in processed food so in the moment I was incredibly frustrated. So I called Ray and said if no one is going to re-invent fast food, I’m going to do it. And he was ‘like go!’”

As a result, the fast-food organic restaurant Grown was created. The food is simple and 100 percent organic. The fish is wild and not farmed. And everything customers eat there is served fast-food service style. The only difference between traditional fast-food restaurants and Grown (besides the food) are the prices. Everything is made on-site and is fresh which includes the dressings for the salads and the marinades for the soups. Apparently, customers can also see that the food is fresh. For example, when a freshly-squeezed juice is ordered, the fruit is actually squeezed right in front of the customer thus showing 100 percent transparency.

GrownAll the food made at Grown, the fast-food organic restaurant, is made fresh and to-order. The food is organic, the fish is wild, and all is made in front of the customer. [Image via Grown’s Official Facebook]

Ray and Shannon Allen’s Grown organic, fast-food restaurant actually fills a void left behind when The Juice Spot, another healthy, organic restaurant, closed. According to an article written by Miami Herald, it reports that the restaurant opened up back in December of 2013 in Brickell. By happenstance, The Juice Spot was created by another former Miami Heat player and his wife, LeBron and Savannah James.

Unlike LeBron and Savannah James though, Ray and Shannon Allen took their time, making sure every detail was put into order with the creation of Grown. For example, the wanted almost every square inch of the restaurant to be environmentally-friendly. With that in mind, the 1,900-square-foot space has a rooftop garden where local farmers can grow organic vegetables, greens, and herbs for use in the restaurant’s kitchen. The facade of the restaurant was built using 100-year-old reclaimed barn wood. And there is an iPad bar that will teach children about nutrition and fitness through games themed to those topics. Even the menus and kids meal packaging are plantable.

From what is provided on Yelp, Grown is open every day of the week from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. All their food is order-in, take-out, delivery, or through the drive-through. They accept credit cards and Apple Pay and are good for breakfast and brunch. It is wheelchair accessible, good for kids and good for groups. The attire and ambiance is casual with an average noise level. There is outdoor seating, free Wi-Fi, and has televisions. Dogs are allowed and they do cater.

Even if it is not perfect per se, Grown is innovating the fast-food restaurant business. Prior to them, there really hasn’t been an organic, fast-food restaurant in existence, or at least one that is well-known.


By Patrick Frye