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Casie’s story is a juicy one of corporate escape.

Besides having a desire to be “The Taco Lady” when young and growing up in Duncanville, Texas (so she could subsist on her favorite food, corn tortillas), she never endeavored to get into the restaurant biz. When college called she headed to Texas Tech University earning a degree in broadcast journalism, with the goal of becoming the next Diane Sawyer, but she veered into advertising right at the internet revolution, helping pioneer the space. Casie excelled as an Account Supervisor (a nicer Pete, for Mad Men fans), teaching large clients how to harness the power of the Internet.

Much like culinary careers, she worked long late hours, maintained meticulous organizational skills and entertained worldwide, all while thinking quickly on her feet – which was just a part of the job. But during a digital ad agency stint, Casie realized she wanted to work on her own brand.  A small but growing thought evolved and she soon knew she wanted to be “The Salad Lady.”

It would take two years before finally leaving her day job and opening up the first Greenz,salads for z’ adventurous restaurant in 2004. Casie’s mission? Turn salad into an artful, tasty, and satisfying fast casual dining experience. The Starbucks of Salad. While learning the food industry was new, customer experience was her specialty and her own passion to be innovative made all the difference. Her vast expertise and professional go-getter attitude, along with her friendly Texas spirit helped grow from one restaurant to four locations in Texas — a triumph over that thing called the recession.

So when Casie had the opportunity to get some words of wisdom from restaurant mogul Phil Romano about expanding her Greenz concept, he challenged her with another life-changing question, “What else you got?” A little floored by the notion of “something else,” Caldwell quickly began cultivating an idea, again something new to Dallas and to the culinary industry.  The idea, to create a permanent pop up restaurant, a live reality show focusing on rotating chefs and designers, quickly grew from more than a brainstorm session.   Within a month, with the idea fully flushed out, Casie was back in front of Romano with the beginnings of Kitchen LTO, launched through the master-planned Trinity Groves project in Dallas.

Just in its beginning stages, Caldwell is excited with the challenges Kitchen LTO will bring as well as the continued adventures Greenz, salads for z’ adventurous, brings every day to her life.  Now, Casie Caldwell is in her sweet spot, making the passions of creative come to life, and orchestrating ever changing but impactful culinary and design campaigns through a restaurant.  Now that’s the real adventure.

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