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Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill is a lot of things: a USD 4-a-taco chain that wants to explore premium ingredients. A San Diego-born business eyeing the international market. A onetime maker of a cheeseburger-taco that’s now all about sustainable seafood and healthful salads.

What it’s not? A fast food business.

Among Rubio’s recent moves: An expanding catering business, a partnership with a craft beer brewery, a new line of “fruit waters” that are more healthful than aguas frescas, new biodegradable plates and eco-friendly packaging.

Sitting at one of the Carlsbad-based company’s newer restaurants in an El Segundo airport, surrounded by fast-casual giants Chipotle and Five Guys, Ralph Rubio, 56, is reminiscing about growing up in nearby Carson and his youth spent surfing and playing volleyball in the beach cities. His yellow Labrador lays quietly at his feet.

Click here to read the full story from the Los Angeles Times >

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