Salad offerings in the Chapel
Holy sprouts. The youngest restaurant in town has one of the more unique concepts. J.T. Scraps Salad Factory, opened this past weekend in Chapel Square in Avon.Owner John “Scraps” Wetmore brings five years of artistic prowess in the salad medium to the bowls of the Vail Valley.Wetmore and partner John Taulane started the business in Dewey Beach, Del., and the restaurant was successful enough to bring Wetmore and his salads to the mountains.”I’m somewhat health-conscious, personally. But, when we came up with the idea, it wasn’t so much because it was something we dreamed of doing. It was something we just came up with and pursued as a business option,” said Wetmore. “Why was it so attractive? Because salad’s clean, it’s healthy and it won’t disturb our lifestyle.”This is a non grease-producing environment. I guarantee, you walk in these doors four years from now, it’s going to look just as clean as it does now. That’s exactly what my other place is like.”
J.T. Scraps Salad Factory is not just about salad. It is also interested in providing comfort and convenience to its customers. Under the high, sky-blue ceiling, the restaurant provides stacks of used magazines to peruse, a comfortable patio dining area, photographs from local photographer Damian Noble Andrews and plans offers Internet access in the near future.”All the menu items are named after all the bars and restaurants in Dewey Beach, or my dog Summit and his family,” said Wetmore. “That beach has a lot of his siblings there – mother, father, brothers.”J.T. Scraps Salad Factory has 18 salads to choose from, one of them being the inevitable “create your own.” The restaurant boasts 16 dressings, seven fat-free options, including toasted sesame, sun-dried tomato, ranch and raspberry Vinaigrette”Some of them (salad dressings) you have to have – blue cheese, thousand island – and some I’ve never seen other than here. One being the lemon-lime caesar. No caesar dressings I’ve ever had compares to it, especially in the summertime. When it’s hot, the dressing is refreshing,” said Wetmore. “The fat-free roasted garlic vinaigretteThe restaurant serves nine wraps. Wetmore cites his grill-press as one of the vital tools in wrap-making.
“And, the salads are definitely a meal – 32-ounce bowls, overflowing. The hardest part about to-go orders is usually getting the lid on it,” said Wetmore. “They’re usually filling, you know, and they’re lighter. Instead of getting a big sub, you get a big salad. You’re not dragged down for the rest of the day. You feel good about it.”The origin of J.T. Scraps Salad Factory came about by mixing a couple of ideas like ingredients.”(In Dewey Beach) There was definitely no healthy place to eat, per se. Anyway, me and a buddy started brainstorming, and a half an hour later we had half the menu names, we had where we were doing it,” said Wetmore. “It’s a seasonal town, so we opened up and it took off like that. And it got to a point that we had to say, ‘There’s only so many salads we can serve in a day.'”Wetmore has spent his past 11 winters in Vail. So, when it came time to turn the successful, local concept into a chain, the valley was the obvious choice.”Ever since I started the business out there, I didn’t know why it wouldn’t work out here,” said Wetmore. “I’m thinking it should work in this town, where there’s a somewhat healthy environment – everyone’s somewhat health conscious.”
Wetmore dealt with the issues of leaving his precious restaurant in the hands of someone else, and then made his way to Avon.”It took a couple of years to get the manager trained (in Delaware), and used to running operations. And this year I felt comfortable enough, and kind of pursued this, and here we are now,” he said.J.T. Scraps Salad Factory is open seven days a week ( -8 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Sunday). For more information, call (970) 949-7986.Andrew Harley can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 610, or at email@example.com.