A fresh alternative at Fresh Leaf - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

A fresh alternative at Fresh Leaf

Posted: Updated:

KENNEWICK, WA - It's National Small Business Week, a week that shines a light on local small business owners, a vital part of our community and economy. 

Reporter Stefani Zenteno learned about a couple who changed their eating habits, and the idea of opening up a restaurant was born.

Juan Carrillo has been in the restaurant industry for 18 years. He started as a busboy, then a waiter, cook, and finally became a manager before opening his own restaurant, "Fresh Leaf".

The idea of having a restaurant with healthier options was born a few years ago, when he was diagnosed with diabetes and his eating habits had to change.

"Our whole life changed, everything. How we eat, how we exercise," Carrillo said. "So she came up with the idea and said, 'let's try do something we already do at home and we don't see here in the Tri-Cities."

Fresh Leaf opened its doors to the public in 2015, and for those of you who are fans of fresh products and healthy eating, then Fresh Leaf is for you.

"Salads, soups, and we start selling paninis and we make everything from scratch, even the dressing we make here," Carrillo said. "And we use organic products."

Some items on the menu include sandwiches, salads, soups, smoothies, and they have vegan and vegetarian options as well.

"It doesn't take more than three minutes to make you a good salad, healthy options," said Carrillo's wife, Gina. "We try to provide the most organic products we can find."

Carrillo and his wife continue to hope for success in the future. They're always encouraging others to do the same.

"If you work hard for something you like and if you have it, it feels good and when you help people, it's even better," Carrillo said.