Chop’d opened in Manchester, Cross St in August 2016. Their first salad bar outside of London. In a cracking location, positioned right in the centre on Manchester, close to the main shopping areas, so there’s no excuse not to pay them a visit whilst you are out and about or in need of a healthy and filling lunch during the weekly 9-5.
People in Manchester walk around with their heads up. This city is vibrant and buzzing.
Not my words, the words of Eddie, managing director. Words I was happy to hear being a proud Mancunian who really loves the buzz of the city centre.
Having only recently opened, Chop’d hosted 2 blogger event evenings where a handful of food and, it seemed, fitness enthusiasts (myself included), were invited to come and hear all about the company, their ethos and motivation for beginning a new adventure up here in sunny Manchester (haha!). We also sampled some of their range of fresh ingredients and constructed our own salads.
The greeting upon my arrival was really friendly, with several staff members speaking to myself and the other bloggers, just to get a general feel for why we had chosen to attend, and general chit chat. A really friendly bunch of staff members. Always a great start for a business. Once they had kindly given everyone their Chop’d apron to wear along with a nice cold beverage and signed us all in, we were ready to rock ‘n’ roll.
Eddie, the MD, got us underway with a brief introduction to the company, their ethos and what brought them to Manchester.
Chop’d began with a clear goal in mind, providing great tasting food that the staff would be happy to serve to their children. Their ethos is simple…good quality, local ingredients. The only compromise on local sources is for the odd ingredient where it is just impossible. For example, you won’t be finding any avocados growing around Manchester, unfortunately! In an age where convenience seems to often rule over quality and health, it’s a pleasure to see someone genuinely focusing on the things that truly matter. Well, they do to me anyway. I love my food, but I also focus what I eat around my health and fitness, and Chop’d genuinely fits the bill for this.
It was certainly interesting to hear how they purchase their produce. Unlike the supermarkets who only seem to accept fruit and veg that are of a specific colour, size and shape, Chop’d focuses more on the fresh flavoursome items, which sometimes means some apples may be different colours and shades, or veg may arrive in various shapes and sizes, but this actually means that they get the better quality because supermarkets are usually about 1 thing…how the product looks on a shelf. When you see fresh items all looking the same, that’s not necessarily a good thing. It usually means they are sacrificing quality over appearance. Chop’d simply do not do this.
If you picked a bunch of fresh tomatoes or apples, would they all look the same? No, of course not. You would have a beautiful array of colours and sizes, just as it should be. This is exactly what you will find at Chop’d because unlike some big chains, they take the food as it comes, varied in every way except that one important factor…the quality…the taste..that beautiful yummy fresh tasting goodness! Everything in store is bursting with flavour, as myself and the other bloggers discovered as we tasted a selection of different foods.
Firstly, the fresh apples that were sliced up by Matt had a delicate crunch, then the beef and cherry tomatoes offered to us were mouth-wateringly tasty. You could have added them to any dish and their full flavour would have reduced your need for any added salt. Next up, we were dipping raw mixed peppers into a jerk paste that in all honesty, I could have happily have bathed in and eaten my way out of the bath! Finally, on the samples section of the evening was the smoked salmon. There was a lot of hype behind this tasty little fishy as Eddie told us how proud they were of it’s freshness and how he was certain that we would see a big difference between this and certain food provider’s cheaper versions of smoked salmon (no names mentioned!), but oh…my…lord! I am not kidding you or being nice just for the sake of it, that smoked salmon melted in my mouth in a way that only really good quality food does. It reminded me a little bit of my experience of eating Kobe beef when I was in Japan. It looked as light as a feather and it just sat on the tongue and made my taste buds do a little dance inside. I am more than happy to run back into Manchester just to eat some more.
At Chop’d, there are two options for the salads. You have some pre-made tubs or you can build your own. For the core of the event, we were all going to build our own. The salad build is made up of a few core areas, and it is all simple enough…
You choose from the following:
You can view these ingredients and even make your own salad on the Chop’d website.
The salads that we created were all the large sized tubs and let me tell you, you will not find a large salad tub in Manchester. This will certainly satisfy your needs for a good filling lunch during the working day and should keep you satisfied for a good portion of the afternoon too.
Once we had all constructed our salads and viewed the nice ‘chill out’ area downstairs, it was time to finish the evening. After a good few exchanges of social media profiles between us bloggers, of course, and a lovely team photo!
The evening was a great event to attend. I got to meet some more awesome food and fitness bloggers, there was great food on offer and I got to make my own salad. Everybody who knows me well is fully aware that this is my kind of evening.
As for Chop’d, this is a salad bar that genuinely seems to be going places and I really hope they thrive in Manchester. They offer a standard of food that is excellent and is exactly the kind of food that I eat on a daily basis, especially around lunch time. This place really is for everyone. It isn’t about being on a diet, or avoiding certain foods…the only question you need to ask yourself is this…
‘Do I want a healthy, tasty and nutritious lunch?’ And the answer is Chop’d. Get your asses down to Cross St and tuck right in!
Oh, and on one last side note, I was given a goodie bag of products on the night and the Savse Super Blue smoothie was just the right amount of sweetness! Hit the spot.