MORRISVILLE — Thirty minutes before the first customer enters his restaurant, Sam Futterman is fielding a steady stream of phone calls and filling multiple orders.
Between making sandwiches and salads, he explains that local high school students will arrive soon to pick up their lunches.
As if on cue, a line starts forming at the register, and Tossed quickly fills with about 50 teenage girls – and one boy.
“If I were a high school guy, this is where I’d be for lunch,” Futterman says, grinning.
Tossed, located near Panther Creek and Green Hope high schools, offers students a $6 lunch special.
“We’ll give them most anything for $6,” Futterman says. “It’s a good deal.”
Tossed provides healthy menu choices, all freshly made. Along with salads, the menu also includes sandwiches, paninis, crepes and pizzas.
“It’s a misconception that we only have salads,” Futterman says.
Futterman, a native of New York, came to North Carolina for college. (He played rugby at UNC-Greensboro).
Twenty years later, he returned for good when a friend offered him a job running a new gym in Raleigh.
But three years later, the gym was sold and Futterman was without a job. His background in the fitness industry helped him identify a void in the Triangle.
“There were not a lot of options for healthy food in good quantity with a lot of protein,” Futterman says.
Six years ago, he and his wife, Suzanne, opened Tossed in the McCrimmon Corners shopping center on Davis Drive.
Salads at Tossed are intended to be filling.
“This is not a cheap salad,” Futterman says. “It has a lot of protein.”
Recent daily specials included Apple Berry Mango Salad and Strawberry Pecan Salad. Chicken and cayenne shrimp are staples. Customers can also design their own salad or wrap.
Early on, men were a hard sell. Futterman figures they didn’t believe they could get a hearty lunch at Tossed.
One customer, who on his first visit caused somewhat of a scene, now goes through the line, pointing out menu options to other men.
“He’s one of our best salesman,” Futterman says.
Futterman expected to have several restaurants up and running by now, but his plans slowed with the recession and some missed opportunities on prime locations. The Morrisville Tossed is the only one in North Carolina. He is actively scouting locations.
Tossed caters to many of the surrounding businesses. The eatery is open seven days a week, and Futterman says some days are busier than others.
“Weekends and nights have not been as busy as I had hoped,” he says.
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