Balance is growing its business, cultivating produce for dozens of restaurants in the area

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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) – When it comes to the local dining scene, you’ve undoubtedly heard the name before balance.

It started more than a decade ago in the Toledo area. Many of Balance’s meals are grown on an indoor farm downtown. Both balance and the farm grow.

The first Balance Pan-Asian Grille opened in 2010. Since then, two more local locations have been added to the menu and the first location outside of Ohio just opened this week.

“We are a fast, casual Asian Fusian restaurant with a strong vegetarian focus. Our primary purpose is to change the American diet,” said Balance co-founder Prakash Karamchandani, also known as Pk.

This mission extends beyond the state. The new Balance location in the Denver area opened Wednesday.

Although opening day was a huge success, PK said it wasn’t without some challenges.

“There are currently bottlenecks for everything. Getting the equipment was difficult, everything was a challenge. However, even in 2010, when we first opened, it was a challenge. We were going through an economic recession at the time,” he said.

At Balance, freshness is the focus right from the start. Many of the greens and vegetables served in the restaurants are grown on Balance Farms, a 9,000-square-foot tract directly across from Balance’s downtown concourse.

Balance Farms operating partner Dan Sadoski said the vision extends beyond square footage.

“We don’t just use it by the square meter. We have to think of the whole volume, so see us growing in racks to maximize space utilization. We’re set up to have a walkway all the way around so people can see what we’re doing and know we’re making a good and healthy product,” said Sadoski.

PK said that microgreens and leafy greens are grown here along with herbs and some fruiting vegetables. “We breed fish in symbiosis with plants. The fish provide the nutrients for the plants and the plants filter the water back for the fish. We grow 365 days a year.”

Dan said what’s grown here is used by restaurants across the region. “Each week, in addition to Balance, we serve 30 to 40 other restaurants in the Toledo, Ann Arbor and Detroit markets.”

A business that started as a nucleus here in Toledo and is now growing across the country for PK and its business partners.

“We’ve found this niche where we can build a product that’s really good for the community and motivates me every day,” said PK.

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