The Stapleton Chipotle Mexican Grill opened in 2003 and is located at 7400 E. 29th Ave. in the E. 29th Avenue Town Center. A locally grown business, the first Chipotle opened in 1993 at the cross section of East Evans Avenue and South Franklin Street, near the University of Denver. To celebrate its heritage, you can actually find images of the first Chipotle at each of the burrito chain’s more than 1,225 restaurants.
Ask Rebecca Keeton, general manager of the Stapleton Chipotle Mexican Grill, about how the Chipotle in Stapleton is doing and she’ll tell you, “Stapleton is a great community with people who become loyal customers, so don’t be surprised if we get to know you by name. We’re thrilled to be part of this thriving community — bringing our food made from sustainably raised ingredients to the families, students and professionals in the neighborhood who may just be a short walk or bike ride away.”
Chipotle is a different kind of restaurant. While its menu may be simple, Chipotle has a larger goal in mind. For nearly 20 years, Chipotle has proven that food served fast doesn’t have to be a typical fast-food experience.
”Our mission at Chipotle is to change the way people think about and eat fast food,” said Kelly Smith, Denver marketing strategist for Chipotle. “We have a decade-long track record of helping change the food system by simply sourcing more sustainable ingredients. It’s what we call Food With Integrity. For instance, we serve only naturally raised meats, which means the animals are never given antibiotics or added hormones, cheese and sour cream free of rBGH, and locally grown produce from farmers right here in Colorado when seasonally available.”
Chipotle also stands out because it becomes an active member of the communities where it has restaurants.
“As part of our ongoing community efforts, we partner and support like-minded local organizations in the neighborhoods where our restaurants are located,” Smith said. “In Stapleton specifically, Chipotle has given back to the schools, as well as supported the SUN Kickball Tournament, the SUN Sustainability Committee and Earth Day activities, just to name a few.”
What’s on the menu at Chipotle? Chipotle serves burritos, burrito bowls (a burrito without the tortilla), tacos and salads. Additionally, the restaurant offers a Kid’s Menu that includes a taco kit; a small quesadilla with a side of rice and beans; or a single taco with a side of rice. All Kid’s Menu items are served with chips and juice or organic milk.
“We have served the same menu lineup to our customers for nearly 19 years, only adding salads in 2004 and the Kids Menu in 2009 to widen the available variety,” Smith said. “With the thousands of ways you can order these few menu items, Chipotle truly has something on the menu for everybody.”
Chipotle is also unique in its employee recruitment and training. In fact, it refers to its people development programs as its People Culture.
“We provide focused, real managerial and culinary training so that we can promote from within. We believe that you can have a career at Chipotle, not just a job,” Smith said. “Our restaurant managers are the most important people in our business, and we believe from promoting from within. Many of our restaurateurs or elite managers started out at Chipotle as line cooks, cashiers or other crew staff. Last year, 97 percent of our general managers were promoted from the crew-level, including Rebecca here at Stapleton.”
What is on the horizon for Chipotle?
“In addition to sourcing the most sustainable ingredients possible, we’re always pushing ourselves to find better, more sustainable practices for everything we do,” Smith said. “And hope we can help educate our customers about these issues along the way.”
To learn more about Chipotle or to place an online order, visit Chipotle.com!