Organic Coup plans to open this fall in downtown Seattle and Bellevue

The fast-food chain founded by former Costco employees and bankrolled in part by top Costco execs is opening its first Seattle-area locations this fall.

The Organic Coup, the fast-food chain founded by former Costco employees and bankrolled in part by top Costco execs, is opening its first Seattle-area locations this fall.

The Pleasant Hill, Calif.-based chain has signed a lease for space in Bellevue’s Skyline Tower, located at Northeast Fourth Street and 110th Avenue Northeast. The target opening date is Nov. 13.

The location allows the burgeoning chain to reach business people in the area as well as students from Bellevue High School, said Erica Welton, co-founder and CEO.

The Organic Coup also expects to sign a lease this week for space in the Columbia Center in downtown Seattle, with hopes of opening that same week in November, Welton said.

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The chain is also negotiating for a location in Safeco Field, she said.

Welton, a former food buyer for Costco, founded The Organic Coup with Dennis Hoover, who worked for Costco for 33 years before retiring last year as senior vice president for the Bay Area region.

Welton believes the Seattle area is a natural fit for her restaurant chain.

At Costco, “the Pacific Northwest sold more organics than Northern California,” she said. “So we know those are our people.”

The Organic Coup bills itself as the first fast-food restaurant to qualify as Certified Organic under U.S. Department of Agriculture rules. It serves organic air-chilled chicken sandwiches, salads and wraps; organic chicken tenders and tater tots; organic scrambled egg breakfast bowls and wraps, and organic acai bowls, among other items.

Welton and Hoover opened their first restaurant in 2015 and currently have 10 Organic Coup locations open in the San Francisco Bay Area. They plan to open another in Sacramento on Labor Day, with a total of 16 locations open by the end of the year.

Costco co-founder and former CEO Jim Sinegal and Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti are among the investors in the chain.

The USDA itself does not certify restaurants as organic. But restaurants may apply to private or public certification agents to become USDA Organic-certified “handlers,” as Organic Coup is.

Such handler certification means products sold as organic must have at least…

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