Former NFL star Adam Archuleta believes in chasing dreams – and will not consider letting fear get in the way of that.
The 1996 Chandler High School graduate who found success with ASU’s program recently opened his second CoreLife Eatery franchise in Gilbert.
Archuleta said the health food franchise aligns nicely with the families of Gilbert.
“This area fits who we are,” said Archuleta, who serves as managing partner. “I think a lot of people will gravitate toward this kind of concept. This feels good. It feels like it fits here.”
The fast-casual brand, which prides itself in offering simple, fresh ingredients, serves savory dishes that provide nutritious fuel for busy lives. Each menu item is curated with fresh ingredients that are prepared daily from whole foods.
CoreLife uses only grass-fed beef, antibiotic-free chicken and pork and cage-free eggs. All ingredients are free of GMOs, trans fats, artificial colors, sweeteners and additives.
The menu features grain bowls, green salads, soups, bone broth and dinner plates featuring roasted vegetables and housemade sides.
Guests can also order handheld items such as made-to-order tacos and wraps. The taco menu features globally inspired flavors available on naan bread, tortilla shell or lettuce wrap. Those looking for a hearty meal can have their favorite bowls converted into a wrap.
Sodas aren’t available here. Instead, it offers handcrafted beverages like fresh-squeezed lemonade, beet lemonade and apple cider green tea.
Archuleta played in the NFL for seven seasons – five with the St. Louis Rams and one season each with the Washington Redskins and Chicago Bears.
Archuleta is an NFL game analyst at CBS Sports. As a lifelong athlete, Archuleta has seen firsthand the benefits of eating wholesome, nutritious food and is passionate about promoting CoreLife Eatery’s commitment to quality ingredients and freshness.
“Whatever I did in business, food or restaurants, I wanted to believe in it,” he said adamantly. “I wouldn’t feel good about lying to people just to make money.”
He was visiting his in-laws in Youngstown, Ohio, when his sister-in-law introduced him to CoreLife Eatery.
“I went in there and thought, ‘This is awesome. This is totally my place,’” he recalls. “So, I ate there three times a day for a week. I’m the type who always sticks to the same two or three items from every menu.
“Now, I’ve tried everything. All our dishes have such a unique flavor profile and I love all of them. They’re really wonderfully tasting dishes.”
Archuleta gravitates toward beef, and enjoys the steak, bacon and blue cheese dish, which combines chopped romaine and mesclun mix, grass-fed tri-tip steak, bacon, cranberries, walnuts, tomatoes and gorgonzola.
He’s also a fan of the Greek chicken taco, which, he said, isn’t something he previously would have considered. The Greek chicken taco has grilled chicken, cucumber, pineapple pico, napa cabbage, feta and tzatziki sauce.
Any bowl at the eatery can be made as a wrap, with the sauces on the side.
“That is a game changer,” he said.
Archuleta isn’t exactly the biggest pork fan, but he’s into the Korean barbecue pork bowl.
“It’s one of the most flavorful bowls you’ll have anywhere,” he adds. “It’s just amazing. I know this sounds cheesy, but I like it all.”
Archuleta said CoreLife Eatery is for everyone, not just the “super fit or the super active athletes.”
“How many options are out there that are good for you?” the Scottsdale resident said. “Let’s face it; it tastes and is good for you — and it’s affordable. There are not a lot of places that check that box. I think this is perfect for families. I don’t think it should be just for the active lifestyle.”
Archuleta said opening restaurants and analyzing football on television were originally uncomfortable. Before buying into CoreLife Eatery, Archuleta took part in NFL Boot Camp Franchising at the University of Michigan with other former and current players.
As for the TV position, Archuleta overcame serious social anxiety.
“It took willpower, really,” he said with a smile. “We have a tendency when we’re uncomfortable to run and hide form in, instead of embracing it. I use discomfort as my guide. How sad is it if you’re limited from trying to create your dreams just because you’re scared?”