New Health Food Cafés Chain to Open in Russia

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Forbes Magazine published an interview with Russian businessman Alexander Lebedev in which he spoke about the launch of a chain of health food cafés called Petrushka, the Russian word for parsley.

According to Lebedev, the new cafes will compete with McDonald’s and Burger King. The first café has already opened in Alushta on the Crimean Peninsula.

The prices of dishes will be half the price of those at Burger King, with an average bill costing about 150-200 roubles ($2.41-3.21). The menu will include potato dishes, antioxidant celery, spinach and cucumber juices, as well as bananas grown in Uganda and salmon caught in the Sea of Okhotsk. “Vegetable soup and herbal tea from the Crimean plateau will be free and can be found under the ‘Halyava’ section of the menu,” Lebedev said. Inside the café, there will be a big screen showing videos about healthy food and why going to McDonald’s is a bad choice.

All in all, Lebedev plans to open about 2,000 cafes in different cities all over Russia except for Moscow. In addition to Crimea, Petrushka will open locations in the Moscow region, Nizhny Novgorod, Grozny, Yekaterinburg and the Tula region. The first 50 cafés are set to open in the middle of 2017.

Another of Lebedev’s ambitious projects is the Tavrichesky wooden overpass, which will be analogous to the Ponte Vecchio in Florence. The overpass is to be built in Moscow with laminated veneer lumber made from Siberian larch, a coniferous tree that can be found in much of northern Russia.