Company spokesman confirms - Chipotle on its way to Baxter
The Denver-based fast-casual burrito chain Chipotle Mexican Grill will soon count Baxter among its more than 2,000 locations. A company spokesman confirmed a Baxter restaurant is planned for early 2018. "We're always looking for great communities...
The Denver-based fast-casual burrito chain Chipotle Mexican Grill will soon count Baxter among its more than 2,000 locations.
A company spokesman confirmed a Baxter restaurant is planned for early 2018.
"We're always looking for great communities where we can open new restaurants, and the Baxter/Brainerd area seemed like a great fit," stated Michael Fuller, Minnesota marketing strategist for Chipotle Mexican Grill, in an email response. "The Baxter location opens us up to a new community and allows us to feed plenty of hungry residents along and around (Highway 371)."
Following a flurry of rumors, the company first broke the news on its Facebook page in response to a fan post from Brainerd resident Mandy Pfeiffer seeking confirmation of the planned locale.
"I hear you're coming to Baxter, MN. Can it be true?" Pfeiffer posted.
"We have a location planned for Edgewood Drive North in Baxter, but the expected opening date isn't until early 2018," a spokesperson identified as "Sam" responded under the official Chipotle Mexican Grill social media page.
That post spread quickly among Brainerd area residents online, appearing on the Facebook page "Bring Chipotle to Brainerd, MN"-a page advocating for the burrito joint to locate in the lakes area since 2015.
The location is expected to fill one of the spaces in the retail development underway on the east end of the Gander Mountain parking lot.
"We're looking forward to opening the first Chipotle in Baxter, and making it easier for residents to enjoy delicious, fresh food they can feel good about eating," Fuller stated.
Since the initial Facebook response, managers of Chipotle's social media accounts have offered conflicting answers-one stating the opening would occur later this year, and another stating the location was a rumor. The company's release to the Dispatch didn't address the rumors.
First opened in 1993, the restaurant chain has locations across the United States and into Canada, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. On its website, Chipotle lists 63 Minnesota locations. The closest current locations to the Brainerd lakes area are two in St. Cloud.
The chain prides itself on its "Food With Integrity" ethos-sourcing non-genetically modified ingredients and meat from pasture-raised animals with no added hormones or non-therapeutic antibiotics, according to the company's website.
"Just genuine raw ingredients and their individual, delectable flavors," the company's website stated. "We source from farms rather than factories, and spend a lot more on our ingredients than many other restaurants. We wouldn't have it any other way."
The company's had its fair share of knocks, however. In 2015, the chain faced a series of E. coli, Salmonella and Norovirus outbreaks. Reuters reported two incidents garnering attention in the last week caused the restaurant's shares to plunge 4.5 percent Tuesday-a Norovirus outbreak at a Virginia Chipotle restaurant, and a customer video showing three rodents in a Chipotle location in Dallas' West End neighborhood shared widely online. A spokesman told Reuters the mice made it inside due to "small structural gap in the building," which was immediately repaired after the mice were removed.