Oprah’s latest investment is a health-focused restaurant chain

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah’s going with her gut when it comes to investing her vast fortune.

The media mogul became a shareholder in a small, health-focused restaurant chain — True Food Kitchen — the third such food-related investment she’s made since 2015 when she teamed up with Weight Watchers, taking a 10 percent stake in the company and joining its board.

Weight Watchers’ stock has since soared by 128 percent, popping with each of Winfrey’s weight-loss tweets.

A year ago, she launched a line of soups with Kraft Heinz called O That’s Good!

Winfrey’s endorsement could bode well for Phoenix-based True Food Kitchen, which hopes to double the number of its restaurants to 46 by 2021 — including locations in the New York metro area, where it does not have restaurants yet.

Winfrey joined the company’s board, which includes health guru and founder Dr. Andrew Weil, whose recipes are featured on the menu, which includes kale guacamole, quinoa burgers and spaghetti squash casserole.

Winfrey first learned about True Food Kitchen when she ordered takeout from its Palo Alto, Calif., location last year and then returned to dine at a Santa Monica, Calif., eatery a couple of months ago.

“Her team reached out to us,” said the chain’s chief executive, Christine Barone, a former Starbucks executive, “and she and I had lunch together at her home in California to discuss our vision.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Private equity firm Centerbridge Partners is True Food Kitchen’s controlling shareholder.

Winfrey’s involvement will vault the chain on to the national stage and give it access to “big media,” said restaurant consultant John Gordon of Pacific Management Consulting Group.

Share this:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google
  • Facebook Messenger
  • WhatsApp
  • Email
  • Copy