Lifetime Rochester Residents Team Up to Bring Saladworks, the Nation’s Leading Salad Franchise, to Their Minnesota Community

When friends and full-time working moms Kristi Pencille and Stephanie Sawyer kept finding themselves in need of a quick and healthy food option that fit their busy lives, they joined forces in search of a concept that shared their vision and values. That’s when the two came across Saladworks, a health-focused fast casual restaurant franchise capable of filling a glaring need in their community of Rochester, Minnesota.

“When we first encountered Saladworks in the spring of 2018, we really liked the re-branding and new business model,” Pencille said. “Backed by 30 years of established success, the fresh, healthy product and the aesthetic of the new stores really stood out to us.”

Despite the great first impression that the nation’s leading salad-centric franchise concept left them with, Pencille and Sawyer explored several concepts before eventually deciding to sign on with the franchise system in December 2018.

“What made the brand stand out was their level of customer loyalty,” Sawyer said. “After visiting their team in Pennsylvania, we discovered that they had an amazing support structure to guide us through many of the unfamiliar aspects of opening a franchise.”

The support doesn’t stop there, either. Pencille and Sawyer will benefit from the Saladworks team’s continued support through the franchise opening process and beyond.

“They have a proven template that we feel will meet our local needs,” Pencille said.

Pencille and Sawyer are more than optimistic that Saladworks will be well-received in the Rochester community that is craving a health-focused quick-service concept.

“There are several quick-service options in the area, but nothing like Saladworks,” Pencille said. “We are both full-time working moms that often look for a quick, healthy option over our lunch hour or while running errands on the weekend. Bringing Saladworks to the community will help meet the needs of people just like us, among others. For those with dietary restrictions or food allergies and those just looking for healthier alternatives, we feel this concept will deliver.”

“Plus,” Sawyer added, “Rochester is a growing, active community with a lot of support for female entrepreneurship.”

As far as their own readiness, the two feel just as confident about their own readiness as they do the area’s, if not more. Between the two of them, they have 25 years of food service experience, over 10 years of experience in healthcare management and current small business ownership experience. The lifetime Rochester residents are deeply involved in their community and plan to use their connections to their advantage as new business owners.

“I’m active in my church and have served on several boards over the years,” Sawyer said. “In the past, I’ve been on the Rochester Figure Skating Board and the Century High School’s Booster Club Board. I currently serve on the Capital Campaign Board for the Jeremiah Program, an initiative dedicated to supporting and empowering single mothers and their children affected by poverty through community action and education. I also play a large role in my family’s foundation, the Schaap Family Foundation, that awards college scholarships to students who are not otherwise able to afford tuition.”

Back in 2015, Pencille participated in a ten-month, immersive leadership development program created by the Rochester Chamber of Commerce Foundation that she credits with setting her up for success in small business ownership.

“The program’s mission is to develop leaders through participation in personal, professional, and community activities designed to encourage participants to take individual responsibility in the future vitality of the Greater Rochester area,” Pencille said. “I learned to apply my personal strengths to grow my leadership capabilities and capacity, build and leverage relationships to gain access to more professional resources, and assess, understand, and respond effectively to a community need.”

Bringing Saladworks to Rochester is her delivering on that personal responsibility by contributing to the greater health of her community.

To learn more about Saladworks franchise opportunities, visit