Toss Your Greens, a new Sparks restaurant, wants to become 'healthiest place on Earth'

Evan Haddad
Reno Gazette Journal
Toss Your Greens is located at Marina Marketplace on Prater and Sparks Blvd. in Sparks.
Toss Your Greens co-owner Daneal Akalu.

A new eatery in Sparks is specializing in soups, salads, wraps and lots of information about healthy living.

Toss Your Greens, a new fast-casual restaurant that opened in October at 1495 E. Prater Way in Sparks, claims to be on a mission to become the “healthiest place on Earth” by promoting healthy eating.

The restaurant, co-owned by Daneal Akalu and Ancil Christopher, offers customizable menu items with a focus on healthy, fresh food. Some of the highlights include the Kale Sparks, a salad with roasted chicken and shaved Parmesan, and the Its Giving, a Thanksgiving-themed salad with turkey, walnuts, and butternut squash dressing.

The co-owners, both of whom immigrated to the U.S. as young boys, have big dreams for their new restaurant in Sparks. Akalu was born in Ethiopia and immigrated to the U.S. at age 11. Akalu's grandmother's cooking ignited a passion for good, healthy food that has carried into his adult life.

Toss Your Greens co-owner Ancil Christopher.

"What we are trying to solve is a problem that is affecting 70% of America today," Akalu said in reference to the county's obesity problem. 

Christopher, who was was born in Trinidad and Tobago, immigrated to Atlanta as a 7-year-old and worked several fast-food jobs as a young adult, an experience that fueled his concern over the direction of American restaurant food. In 2018, Christopher relocated his seven-person family to Reno after taking a job with Tesla where he would meet Akalu.

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Together, the two future restaurateurs began to devise plans for a food brand. Akalu and Christopher first considered launching a salad vending machine business before settling on a brick-and-mortar restaurant.

But the co-owners aren't giving up their tech interests.

"We are starting with one store in Sparks in a great location with high foot and vehicle traffic," Akalu said. "A salad-making robot will be purchased in order to improve the number of salads per hour possible and reduce labor costs. The executive team has experience in robotics and automation, making this a reasonable implementation instead of an idealistic dream."

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