Mediterranean fast-casual restaurant brand CAVA has opened a new food production and packaging facility in Verona in the US state of Virginia.  

The 55,000ft² facility entailed an initial investment of $35m.

It will manufacture CAVA’s signature dips and spreads including tzatziki, harissa and Crazy Feta, as well as select dressings.

The Verona facility can produce 100,000 pounds of product daily using high-pressure processing.

Cold pasteurisation technology has been chosen for its ability to retain the flavour and nutritional value of the ingredients used in CAVA’s products.

Together with an existing facility in Laurel, Maryland, the new Verona site is set to support 750 restaurants.

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It will also facilitate the expansion of CAVA’s consumer packaged goods business.

CAVA co-founder and CEO Brett Schulman said: “CAVA Foods Verona is part of a vertically integrated model that supports our business now and over the long term. By centrally producing our dips and spreads, we reduce complexity in our restaurants, improve costs overall and maintain the quality, consistency and integrity of our chef-crafted recipes at scale.

“We’re excited to be part of the Verona community and grateful for our ongoing partnership with Augusta County and the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

In April 2024 CAVA opened its first location in Wicker Park, in the Chicago area.

The move marked CAVA’s entry into the upper Midwest US market.

The 3,100ft² Wicker Park restaurant includes a 30-seat dining room.

CAVA Wicker Park is part of the brand’s growing portfolio, which now includes 325 restaurants across 25 states and the District of Columbia.

In June 2023, the company raised $318m through its initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange.

The company sold more than 14 million shares at $22 each, after initially marketing them between $19 and $20.

The IPO valued CAVA at $2.5bn, exceeding earlier valuations based on a price range of $17 to $19 per share.

CAVA has ambitious plans to open 1,000 restaurants up to 2033.