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I am mixing it up a bit today. As of last week I finally have a Chipotle Mexican Grill in my neighborhood and I am sharing why I think it’s time to give this company a second chance.

I actually discovered Chipotle back in 2004 and immediately fell in love with the overall ease of the concept and of course their food. I then remained a loyal customer for the next 11 years until the “outbreak” (that we are all aware of) took place. So this past Sunday when my husband suggested we try out the neighborhood's newest addition I was initially a bit skeptical. But as soon as we walked in the door everything fell right back into place, and yes, I ordered my usual. I decided to let go of any potential worries and just enjoy every moment of my burrito awesomeness.

So why am I telling you this?

Well at the moment Chipotle still seems to be in a bit of trouble. Their stocks continue to decline and analysts are extremely weary of their future. Some have lost faith in the CEO and founder, Steve Ells, while others feel the company is moving in the wrong direction with their current growth and promotional strategy. And while all of us are entitled to our own opinions, I am sure the team at Chipotle wants nothing more then to prove all of Wall Street wrong and gain customer loyalty back in droves. So here is what I know…

Chipotle has always (even prior to 2015) focused on sourcing the best ingredients for their food. The saying “farm fresh” does in fact hold meaning for them, and knowing they course-corrected after a difficult year, means that the standards have now been set even higher. So yes, while we are eating good food- they are constantly on a mission to “do good” when it comes to farmers, animals, and the environment.

Secondly, and this is definitely more personal. I am a huge advocate for any company that takes food allergens seriously, and Chipotle very much does. If this doesn’t effect you, consider yourself lucky. But as a mom with two young kids, who typically can’t eat out (due to cross contamination), being able to bring my children into an establishment and feel worry free is a big and rare win. For those of you like me- there are no eggs, mustard, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, shellfish, or fish ingredients in their food- EVER. That means the Benadryl and Epipen can stay in the car for once and your family can enjoy real, fun, flavorful food in a carefree environment. Also, if you have any other specific dietary needs such as gluten, they have options available for you as well. Chipotle has always been extremely organized and transparent when it comes to the contents of their ingredients, which is a quality I wish transcended industry wide.

Before I leave you let me just say one last thing. To the team at Chipotle… I have no idea what the future holds for you but know that I am proud of your overall mission and that someone here in Texas is cheering you on. I hope that everything you have done to ensure the safety of your customers leads to some type of success- in sales, profit, customer retention, and eventually your stock. Best of luck, always.

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