NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - It was around five years ago that Frank Stuto decided to change his lifestyle. After his father passed in 2014 due to complications with pancreatic cancer, Stuto knew he needed to make healthier choices for himself.

That’s what brought him to become a franchise partner with Freshii, a fast-casual chain restaurant specializing in healthy options that recently opened on Neilson Street.

Freshii offers a wide variety of customizable nutritious options such as soups, salads, wraps, bowls, burritos, frozen yogurt, juices and smoothies. The chain also offers keto, vegetarian and vegan options including the increasingly popular plant-based protein, Beyond Meat.

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“After my father passed, I really wanted to get healthy for me,” Stuto said at the restaurant’s ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday. “I left my job as an electrician and started to become involved in the food industry.”

The restaurant is located at 131 Neilson St., not too far from Rutgers' College Avenue campus.

The company’s mission - to help citizens of the world live better by making healthy food convenient and affordable - stood out to Stuto when he was deciding on his next career move.

Before opening his own location in New Brunswick, he worked at the Freshii in Flemington.

Stuto was joined at the ribbon-cutting by New Brunswick Mayor Jim Cahill, Middlesex County Regional Chamber of Commerce Executive Board Chairman Bill Neary, other local officials and some family and friends.

To celebrate the opening, ten percent of today’s sales will benefit Make It Count agencies, a program to aid the homeless.

“I’m a strong believer that if you support your community, they will support you back and that’s what I’m trying to do with the Make it Count donations,” Stuto explained.

Freshii is a Canadian-based chain that currently has three other New Jersey locations. Check out the full menu on the website or follow the New Brunswick location on Facebook @Freshii1334.