Are you looking to grab a quick lunch or dinner, but wanting something healthier than a fast-food burger or a slice of pizza? Sure, we’ve got a lot of restaurants in our neighborhood where you can easily get a salad to go, but why not go to the specialists? This past Sunday, Lula Salads opened at 4501 Interlake Ave.
This space, not far from the post office, is the former location of the Drum Exchange which closed about a year ago as we wrote here. (I dropped in to the Drum Exchange a couple of years ago and met a very dejected owner; I guess the writing was on the wall by then.)
Some of you may be familiar with Lula Salads; they’ve been navigating the mean streets of Seattle as a food truck since September of 2016. The store on Interlake is their first brick-and-mortar presence, and the truck continues to operate downtown and in South Lake Union during lunch time on weekdays. Since food trucks generally need to rent commercial kitchen space to do prep work, this space doubles as their prep kitchen.
I swapped some email with, and later dropped by for an actual face-to-face, with co-owner Mike Ham. Lula Salads is owned and run by a group of friends with roots going back to business school primarily at the UW although some also hail from Michigan. On their motivation for starting the business, Mike says, “We noticed the number of healthy food trucks in this city was minimal; we also couldn’t find a good salad in Seattle outside of a few sit-down restaurants (very surprising given the demo- and psychographics). So we decided to do it ourselves despite none of us having traditional food backgrounds.”
I’m always impressed by people that decide to go into the restaurant industry especially when they don’t have backgrounds in the area; it just seems as if the regulations must be really daunting. Mike admits there’s a lot of paperwork. And some of the rules seem, well, unexpected. The Interlake store is limited to takeout in part because the bathroom is too far from the front area where people would sit. I’m sure there must be a good reason for this rule. (Anyone???)
Opening in Wallingford is a bit of a homecoming for Mike; he lived here while attending the UW from 2008-10. “Wallingford has always been my favorite neighborhood in Seattle, Mike says. “It’s a growing, yet still walkable community and we are excited to be a part of it. There is also a lack of healthy takeaway food in the area; we hope our menu helps fill this void.”
In addition to operating the food truck and the Interlake store, Lula Salads offers catering for your party or office. Salads can be custom-made for your group and either picked up at their store, or dropped off at your location. For larger events, the food truck can be brought around to serve your guests directly.
Any parting words, Mike?
We’re very excited to be in the neighborhood. All our salads are made fresh to order and we can customize anything to meet any dietary consideration. We are also expanding our menu at the store to include offerings we can’t produce on the truck. We hope this will allow us to become a valued member of the vibrant Wallingford food community.
You can get a Lula Salad any day of the week:
- Monday – Thursday 11a-8p
- Friday – Sunday 11a-2p