Who We Are

Our Beginnings

our beginnings


Giardino was born from a passion and commitment to educating their customers about where real food comes from. After asking her students where orange juice came from and they said a juice box, Ody Lugo knew there was an opportunity to educate the new generation about whole foods. That is when Founder, Ody Lugo, an elementary school teacher, took a radical sabbatical and, without any prior knowledge, became an immediate entrepreneur. She and her husband, Kenny Lugo, set out to learn every aspect of the restaurant business and, in just nine months, opened their doors to the first Giardino in October 2004. They believe that with fresh, whole ingredients, knowledge, and love, any food can taste great.

Who We Are
Who We Are
First Location - Coral Gables
Who We Are Staff
Who We Are
Giardino means ‘garden’ in Italian. We believe that the earth provides us with all the food that we need to survive. Our olive branch shows the deep roots we have in our brand, community, and faith-based beliefs.

Vision is to educate and provide the GUEST with the freshest ingredients, giving them the Nutritional Empowerment to make the choice that is right for them while offering a variety of menu items and showing exceptional customer service in a fast-casual setting. We believe that we don’t have to sacrifice quality and service even if we serve our food quickly.

Our Food Philosophy is that the earth provides us with all we need to be healthy. It’s our commitment to source out those foods, prepare them in their most original forms, and serve them with love from the Garden to the Bowl. We recognize the importance of safety procedures and are proud to partner with reputable purveyors and quality farmers who follow all protocols. We understand the needs of our GUESTS, and our goal is for our community to have access to REAL.SIMPLE.FOOD at an affordable price.
from Garden to Bowl
Nutritional Empowerment
Nutritional Empowerment™, means that we put the widest variety of fresh and scratch-made ingredients in front of our Guest and allow them to build their own ‘My Way’ salad, grain bowl, or wrap based on their individual nutritional needs. By offering more than 75 fresh ingredients, including gluten-free, vegetarian, and endless combinations to choose from, our customers are empowered to make the best choice for themselves.

our Values

Giardino was rooted in the Founder’s entrepreneurial spirit, innovation, and strong values. They believe that any dream can come true when you have a great product, persevere, surround yourself with motivated people, and never forget to give back.

Keep it REAL

Embrace the natural simplicity and authenticity of the food that the earth gives. There is no need to complicate it. Stay real with the guest by communicating and always being honest.

How May we Serve You?

Always overextend yourself, don’t just do what is needed. Serve others with respect, kindness & love. Work with passion and be professional in your appearance, language & behavior.

Plant a Seed

Education is knowledge, everyday there is something to learn and something to teach. Strive to always grow and empower those around you. Make a difference to your peers & customers and create a culture that is contagious.

Our People

We are successful because of the people that surround us. Find the heart of the community and always give back. Together we can do more good than alone.