David Segal’s Mad Radish Healthy Food Concept to Expand Significantly with Hundreds of Locations [Interview]


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The former founder of DAVIDsTea has huge plans to grow his Mad Radish brand with a potential of hundreds of locations.

David Segal said the brand is all about fast, healthy food.

“We’ve been doing it now for five years. The menu’s full of bold flavours, really high quality, on trend ingredients, freshly roasted proteins every day from scratch, signature dressings,” said Segal.

“We want to provide every neighbourhood with healthy high quality fast food and a lot of the times healthy food it seems it’s like rabbit food and you have to compromise on taste. We think people want to live healthier, longer lives but they don’t want to compromise on flavour or the enjoyment of food. So it’s really important to us as well.

Image: Mad Radish
David Segal

“We’ve been battle tested through the pandemic and we’ve come up with a franchising model now. Most of our stores are corporate stores. Of the eight we have, seven are corporate stores. We have lots of our own skin in the game. We’re really focusing on simplicity of menu, really high quality food and ensuring that our franchisees can be profitable. And we’re now at the place where there’s decades of hospitality and retail experience behind Mad Radish. We’ve got simple, well-defined processes and we’ve lowered our build-out costs. We don’t use greasy, smelly fryers or expensive hoods. So it’s a really good model and we think there are a lot of neighbourhoods in Canada that would really benefit from high quality, healthy fast food.”

There are three in Toronto and five in Ottawa.

Segal said expansion is focused on Ontario for now but the company is open to development deals in other provinces. 

Future Mad Radish in the Bay Adelaide Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

“We’re ready to go. We can go quick,” he said. “We’re obviously only going to award franchises to qualified people. Assuming the talent is there we’ll go as quickly as prudent to do,” he said.

“I think we could have hundreds of these things in Canada. At DAVID’sTea we had 200 speciality tea stores. This is a much bigger market. I think we can have hundreds of them. I think there’s a huge opportunity here.

“One of our biggest differentiators is we make our proteins fresh every day in an oven and from scratch. You can taste the difference.”

The typical size of a Mad Radish location is about 1,400 to 1,600 square feet. 

“We’re looking for neighbourhood locations. We also do five-day a week office stores and power centres,” said Segal. “Two of our stores in Toronto are in The Path (downtown pedestrian walkway). Two of the ones in Ottawa are in downtown. We do urban and suburban.”

Segal said Mad Radish works with Oberfeld Snowcap Realty for its real estate needs.

During his time at DAVIDsTEA, Segal grew the company from a single store on Toronto’s Queen Street West to a $200 million retail giant. In June 2015, DAVIDsTEA became a publicly-traded company on the NASDAQ, and since launch, the brand has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Women’s Wear Daily, The Globe and Mail, and Fast Company.

Segal left DAVIDsTEA in 2016 and started Mad Radish – a quick service restaurant concept. 

In 2017, David was named one of Canada’s Top 40 under 40.

In 2021, Segal also started Firebelly tea to create exceptional loose leaf teas tailored to modern living, and gorgeous tea accessories to shake up the category. 

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.


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