Oprah expands her food reign, invests in True Food Kitchen

Oprah Winfrey is dipping her investment fork into the food industry yet again with her latest equity investment in True Food Kitchen.

“When Ms. Winfrey and I first sat down to discuss her potential investment, I was impressed by her genuine passion for the intention behind True Food,” said Christine Barone, chief executive officer of True Food Kitchen. “My hope is that her passion and investment will continue to develop our growing brand to allow even more guests to experience a better way of eating.”

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The popular health-driven eatery, founded in 2008, is known for its menu of seasonal dishes and natural beverages guided by the principles of founder Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory food pyramid. The Phoenix-based chain currently operates 23 restaurants in 10 states, including California, Florida and Texas -- and plans on opening two new locations in Nashville, Tennessee and Jacksonville, Florida this year. Outside of expansion plans, the brand has also managed to gain national recognition as a culinary leader.

Winfrey says she was first intrigued by the company's ability to "bring people together over a good meal," but ultimately, the team's "passion for healthy eating and, of course, the delicious food" solidified her interest in being part of the company's future.

While the specific details surrounding the investment were not disclosed, Winfrey will also join the Phoenix-based restaurant's board of directors and will "collaborate and consult" with the company's leadership team to help "advance the brand’s business and marketing objectives."